Revenue Administration Law to take effect in January 2017

REVENUE ADMIN_ BILL, 2016

The Government of Ghana is seeking to consolidate all revenue collection administrations in the country as it introduces the Revenue Administration Bill to Parliament. When finally passed expectedly at the end of June, the law will take effect beginning fiscal year 2017.

The Bill which is still at the consideration stage in Parliament will ensure increased efficiency in the collection of tax, improve tax administration and reduce the obstacles to compliance. This is expected to invariably facilitate the implementation and optimization of revenue collection.

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for the administration and collection of revenue by the Ghana Revenue Authority as established under the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791).

The coming into force of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act 2009, integrated the three main Revenue collecting agencies; the Internal Revenue Service, the Value Added Tax Service and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service.

Prior to their integration, these revenue agencies had their respective tax laws. The passage of the various revenue collecting Acts was to streamline the operations and charges of these revenue Acts. It has become necessary however to harmonize and consolidate the administrative provisions in the tax legislations of the erstwhile revenue agencies through the Revenue Administration Bill.

When the Bill comes into force on January 1, 2017, portions of the Acts that established the various revenue agencies will be repealed. For instance, section 57 and 66 (3) as well as the Sixth Schedule of the Value Added Tax, 2013 (Act 870) will be repealed. Also, the Seventh Schedule of the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) will be repealed.

In addition, the entire Petroleum Income Tax Act, 1989 (PNDCL 188) and the Taxpayer Identification Numbering System Act, 2002 (Act 632) will all be repealed by the new Revenue Administration Law.

Justifying government’s decision for the new Revenue Administration Bill to come into force by January 2017, some six months after it has been passed by Parliament, the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, said considering that the beginning of the fiscal year is January 1, it is prudent to make the effective date from January.

He also explained that tax payers could be caught between two provisions of the tax regime which could affect their tax compliance if the effective date is not kept at the beginning of the fiscal year.

Some Members of Parliament have argued that the effective date be limited to three months after the passage of the bill into law since three months is enough to educate tax payers on the coming into force of the new Revenue Administration Regime.

The Honorable Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Paapa Owusu Ankomah, was against the January 1 proposal. He was of the view that, given the fact that this year is an election year, there may be a new administration that may come with new policies which may lead to new legislations and therefore, the provision would unduly tie the hands of a new government in 2017.

His major concern was about the rendition of clause 111 of the Bill which proposed that “the Minister, by publication in the Gazette, specify when this Act shall come into force.”This was later amended to read, “This Act shall come into force on the 1st of January 2017.”

Author: Power Intel Consulting
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