In compliance with the revised Value Added Tax Act 870, the Ghana Revenue Authority launched the certified electronic invoicing system, often known as E-VAT, on October 1, 2022. To ensure income, the E-VAT approves each invoice generated by taxpayers in almost real time.
Members of the Ghana Revenue Authority's E-VAT Technical Team stressed to the public during the Eye on Port event that the E-VAT is not a brand-new tax.
According to Mrs Felicia Omotayo Owusu, the tax rate is unchanged for both the standard and flat rate schemes.
"The standard rate of VAT tax is 4.5%, NHIL is 2.5%, and GET FUND is 0.75%. Additionally, Levy is 2.5%, and COVID-19 Levy is 1%. The VAT is 3% and COVID-19 is 1% for flat-rate systems. There has been no change. It is merely the act of creating an invoice. We are using electronic means to authenticate and confirm the invoices in real-time or very close to real-time.
According to Mr Patrick Frimpong Danso, the E-VAT system has been successful in the nations where it has been implemented, including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda.
We have a lot of problems with the previous system, he continued. Certain large retailers had been granted permission by the GRA to print their invoices. It seemed possible that they were stifling sales. They could only declare 200 transactions out of 100,000 in a given month. We had no means of checking. They can hide sales data using a piece of software.
About 50 taxpayers have joined the GRA during the program's launch phase, and by 2024, the Authority will have added every registered taxpayer to the E-VAT system. The numerous organisations being on-boarded onto the system have reportedly been recruited by Mr Danso's organisation, which has also given them Relationship Managers to act as a point of contact between GRA and the respective company in the event of issues.
"There are roughly 74 Melcom stores in the nation, and they have all been integrated. The Palace Mall and the China malls are similar. We began with them so that we could learn from the difficulties we encountered, address them, and then onboard the others who have less complicated processes, according to Mrs Owusu.
The GRA officials however cautioned persons and business entities which may want to circumvent the system to evade tax. Mr Frimpong Danso said the GRA can monitor such taxpayers' activities about the issuance of VAT invoices and will send out a team whenever anomalies are detected. The officials explained that the invigilation exercise embarked on by GRA over the past few weeks to check compliance is necessary. The officers will cross-check receipts and record sales to add up the totals and compare them to the returns on the taxpayer files at the end of the week. Our compliance techniques include invigilation, Mrs Owusu said.
According to the Ghana Revenue Authority, these efforts will enhance corporate operations and revenue collection on their end.
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