By Samuel Akapule
Bolgatanga, March 15, GNA - The Sector Command of the Bolgatanga Collection of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division, has mapped out a number of strategies to boost revenue collection.
The Sector failed to meet its set target of 9,650,000 Ghana cedis in 2016 but made 9,376.387.37 Ghana cedis, falling short of 273,612.63 Ghana cedis.
The Sector Commander, Mr Henry Atampugre, who disclosed this during a press soirée in Bolgatanga attributed the inability of his outfit to meet the set target to the high increase of revenue target in the third quarter of the year, low commercial activities during the period under review and the farming season as well as the preparation for the 2016 general elections.
To address the challenge and to help mobilize more revenue for the government, the Command had instituted a number of pragmatic measures including embarking on intensive patrols, the widening of its surveillance and increasing the staff strength, he said.
“More public tax education fora will also be organized to educate all our stakeholders in order for them to enhance voluntary compliance. We need your contributions very much to enable us realize our dream of contributing to national development,” the sector Commander said.
Mr Mark-Donald Pwawari, the Bolgatanga Manager of the Small Taxpayers Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division, said one of the major challenges confronting the unit was that, some managers of businesses particularly the hospitality industry dodge VAT payment and called on customers to insist on seeing VAT invoices attached to receipts from such businesses before making payment.
He used the occasion to remind the general public to register for the new Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and warned that henceforth anybody without the number would not be allowed to transact business.
“The TIN has eleven digits and registration is free. Anyone with the following identifications such as Voter ID, Driver’s License, or an International Passport is required for the registration in any Ghana Revenue Authority Office,” he said.
Majority of the Customs’ staff expressed concern about most of the unapproved routes often used by smugglers and called on government to empower them with equipment particularly vehicles.
They also called for improvement in the manpower needs of the unit to enhance its performance.
Some of the media practitioners took turns to ask questions bordering on the proliferation of fuel stations along the border towns of the Region and how the staffs of Customs were supporting to fight the menace.