As Ghana expands its tax net and intensifies the campaign against non-payment of tax, many organisations and individuals are likely to be breaching the tax regulations.
According to the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), only 1.2million workers (1million formal sector and 200,000 informal sector workers) pay taxes, while many private sector organisations fail to file their annual tax returns.
There is currently an eight-month tax amnesty which has the aim of encouraging defaulters to voluntarily file their tax returns to avoid sanctions after the expiration of the amnesty period in August this year.
Although ignorance of the law is no excuse, many defaulters may have genuine reasons for their non-payment of taxes, including lack of information, unsatisfactory assessment of tax liabilities by the Ghana Revenue Authority, as well as the unavailability of funds to enable the defaulting organisations to pay their huge tax obligation.
The task for the GRA seems herculean regarding achieving the desired results in getting more to honour their tax obligations without collapsing businesses or jailing people, but tax mediation offers the opportunity for the GRA to rope in more revenue.
In anticipation of disagreements or disputes emanating from tax assessment and non-payment, tax mediation is considered key in resolving the disputes between the GRA and taxpayers.
Sources at the GRA inform ADR Daily that the GRA is open to mediation towards settling tax disputes which offers a win-win resolution of such cases.
According to the GRA, since neither the ADR Act nor the tax legislations prohibit the use of Mediation for the resolution of tax disputes, mediation can be used to resolve tax disputes, adding that it offers the platform for the GRA and an aggrieved taxpayer to discuss their dispute for an amicable settlement.
By Nii Adotey/adrdaily.com