Editorial: Ghana Revenue Authority’s e-VAT system is a step in the right direction

The Ghana Revenue Authority in a statement issued by its Communication and Public Affairs Department on Friday, 10th May, 2024 revealed that a successful piloting of its Electronic Value Added Tax (e-VAT) system has boosted revenue by 58 per cent.

The authority said the pilot, which was completed recently, saw a notable increase in VAT revenue, representing an additional GH¢384 million, with electronic VAT invoicing efficiency contributing GH¢124 million.

The authority gave an assurance that it was committed to rapid implementation to maximise benefits of the e-VAT system to enhance revenue collection, combat tax evasion and promote transparency in tax administration.

The GRA explained that the e-VAT system was being implemented in a phased approach, starting with a successful pilot phase to ensure a smooth roll out for enhanced revenue collection.

The GRA attributed the success of the pilot phase to the seamless implementation of the e-VAT system, which prioritised minimal disruption to taxpayers’ back-office processes.

The phase one, which started on April 22, this year, and is scheduled to end on May 31, 2024 focuses on onboarding large taxpayers who account for 80 per cent of VAT contributions.

The GRA said it had so far reported a 175 per cent progress rate so far, exceeding weekly on boarding targets. It said the phase two was scheduled for completion by December, this year, and would onboard medium and small taxpayers, while phase three would integrate all other VAT registered taxpayers into the e-VAT system.

First of all, we at The Chronicle commend the Authority for a successful pilot of its Electronic Value Added Tax (e-VAT) system which marks a significant milestone in the country’s tax administration landscape.

This means that we are gradually advancing as a country into the potential of digital solutions in enhancing revenue collection, combating tax evasion and promoting transparency in tax administration. The phased approach adopted by the GRA in implementing the e-VAT system is a great testament to strategic planning and foresight.

We believe that this new e-VAT system, when fully implemented, will lead to seamless process which will prioritise minimal disruption to taxpayers’ back-office processes. This user-centric approach is crucial in fostering compliance and acceptance among stakeholders.

As phase two and three are set to onboard medium, small taxpayers and all other VAT registered taxpayers into the e-VAT system, it is imperative to maintain this focus on seamless integration and user experience.

The GRA’s effort to rapid implementation and maximisation of the e-VAT system’s benefits is commendable. However, alongside rapid implementation, there must be a concerted effort to ensure that the VAT collected is utilised efficiently and effectively.

Transparency in revenue allocation and utilisation is paramount to building trust and accountability among taxpayers and stakeholders.

As the GRA proceeds with the full implementation of the e-VAT system, it is crucial for the government to provide the necessary support and resources to ensure its success.

Furthermore, the government should prioritise efficient utilisation of the additional revenue generated through the e-VAT system. This includes investment in critical sectors, such as healthcare, education, infrastructure development and social welfare programs.

Transparent budgetary allocations and accountability mechanisms will help ensure that the benefits of increased revenue collection are felt by all citizens.


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