Accra, Nov. 6, GNA - President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged developing countries to leverage technology to enhance revenue administration and to increase voluntary compliance.
He said the countries would be doing themselves a great disservice if they failed to use the opportunities associated with the availability of Information and Communication Technology to enhance business processes and procedures of tax administrations.
President Akufo-Addo said this in a speech read on his behalf by Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Minister of Planning at the opening session of the 38th Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) Annual Technical Conference in Accra.
The five-day conference being attended by representatives from the 46 member countries on the theme: “Leveraging Technology to Enhance Revenue Administration,” aims at creating the right conditions for the flourishing of ideas to improve tax administrations.
President Akufo-Addo said one sure way governments could support their revenue administrations was to enable them embrace and adopt modern technology.
“This is because I believe that technology can easily engender reforms which are necessary for the growth and development of tax administrations,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said reforms were necessary to re-engineer the business processes and procedures of tax administrations which should result in simplified ways to ensure tax compliance and increased revenue.
“The availability of ICT today affords governments and their respective tax administrations the opportunity to leverage technology to enhance revenue administration,” he said, adding that when properly leveraged technology could provide vast opportunities to increase voluntary compliance.
It is in this direction that government has leveraged technology to introduce a digital property addressing system and a national identity card system to help formalise the economy and help the Ghana Revenue Authority to easily locate businesses and potential taxpayers for registration and delivery of assessments.
President Akufo-Addo pledged government’s continuous support to the GRA to adopt the necessary technology to increase the Tax to GDP ratio and thereby help to reduce the country’s dependence on aid and donor support.
In his address, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance said the Ministry would continue to support the GRA to achieve the desired outcome in its modernisation and reforms efforts.
He said a modernised and reformed tax administration would inure to the benefit of the country through efficiency and maximisation of revenue.
“I have no doubt in my mind that the adoption and use of appropriate technology will bring enormous benefits to Commonwealth tax administrations particularly countries yet to fully deploy technology to improve their tax administrations,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Acting Commissioner-General GRA, said CATA’s mission of helping members to develop effective tax administrations that promote sustainable development and good governance was in line with GRA efforts at modernising the Ghanaian tax administration and improving service delivery to taxpayers.
Mr Sudhamo Lal, Chairperson CATA, said the new generation of taxpayers no longer considered paper based channels as the most effective and efficient ways of communicating and transacting with tax administrations and warned that if administrators failed to meet their expectations there could be tax compliance issues.