Government to plug revenue loopholes
Government to plug revenue loopholes Website
The government will this year put in place stringent measures to plug the loopholes in the revenue collection machinery of the state. The measures include clearing all consignments that have overstayed at the ports, modernizing the system for monitoring consignments meant for the free zones, as well as. the warehousing and ex-warehousing movement of containers. The Executive Secretary of the Revenue Agencies Governing Board (RAGB), Mr Harry Owusu, who disclosed this in an interview, said the monitoring system would be done electronically in order to flush out deviant behaviour. He said the Justice Baddoo Report on investigations into customs operations would also be studied in detail and the recommendations carefully considered in order to plug every leakage in the revenue collection system. Last year, the government, acting through the Customs, Excise and, Preventive Service (CEPS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service, exceeded its revenue collection target, having bagged GH¢3,031.55 million, as against a projected GH¢2,999.89 million. That represented a 28 percent growth over the previous year's figure of GH¢2,370.77 million. Mr Owusu said this year would see increased capacity building and training for the staff of CEPS and other revenue agencies. He said it was time the tax agencies employed modern mechanisms and systems in their operations and that the computerisation of the IRS would be a reality by the end of this year. Mr Owusu said the Ghana Community Network (GeNet) was also establishing the Transaction Price Database which would ensure that prices quoted on manifests or declared by importers were within internationally accepted price ceilings. In preparation to perform destination inspection, which used to be one of its core businesses, CEPS would also build its capacity in destination inspection to assume the function when the one-year extension for destination inspection companies in the country expired at the end of the year. The executive secretary said the temporary importation of vehicles into the country was also an area of abuse to which the board would devote a lot of attention and resources this year to curb. After the importation of vehicles, particularly from neighbouring Togo, which operates a free port, the importers fraudulently register them, using fake processes and procedures. "This is now on a massive scale but we have our men on the road to apprehend the fraudsters. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority is also assisting with information leading to the interception of those vehicles," Mr Owusu stated. "This year we will intensify our efforts in this direction and commit more resources there for the appropriate duties and port penalties to be applied," he added. The RAGB head said the board would also intensify public education to warn the public against buying vehicles brought in under temporary importation permits.