The New Phase of Ghana’s Taxation System – The Tax Identification Number (TIN)

A tax is a mandatory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures. A failure to pay, or evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law.

The income tax regime has seen various changes since the Internal Revenue Act, 2000 (Act 592). Although there are still a number of issues in the tax regime that need to be addressed, the current state of taxation is quite encouraging for the business community.

The 2018 budget statement includes a number of tax policy proposals expected to enhance tax revenue generation which remains a key objective of government.

Then there is the overall success of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); a unique number generated by the Ghana Revenue Authority for persons including corporate entities upon application. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has so far issued over a million taxpayers with a new Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) since the introduction of the regime. In 2017, over 258,000 new TINs were issued, an increase of 68% compared to the same period in 2016.

All persons and entities who have any dealings with the GRA are required to register for a TIN; it may be obtained free of charge from any GRA office. Applicants are expected to provide a clear copy of a valid identity card (National ID Card, Voters Card, Driving License or Passport), together with the original ID itself. TIN issuance has been boosted by the nationwide rollout of GRA’s new computerised tax system - tripsTM, managed by GCNet on behalf of the Government of Ghana. TripsTM is now live in a total of 59 offices across nine regions of Ghana. The tripsTM seeks to streamline and bring transparency to the business operations of the GRA Domestic Tax Revenue Division. The system supports a full range of tax administration functions, including Registration, Returns Processing, Automated Compliance, Collections, Taxpayer Accounting, Revenue Accounting, Refunds, Risk Management, Case Management, Audit, Objections and Appeals.

The benefits of the TIN are numerous for holders as it is impossible to perform the following transactions without the TIN among others:

  • Clear goods from the ports

    Register your land documents with the Lands Commission

    Obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate from the Ghana Revenue Authority

    Open a bank account

    Register your company at the Registrar-Generals’ Department

    Obtain payments for jobs/contracts done for the government

    File a case at the courts

    Obtain a passport from the Passport Office

    Obtain a drivers’ licence and register your vehicle at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)

    Bid for contracts from government agencies

    Conduct business with Ministries, Departments and Agencies

    Conduct business with Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies

The future of the financial and tax system in Ghana is very bright with the indication of projects such as the TIN Number.

All in all, the TIN Number will serve as an identification pin for each individual’s contribution of tax in Ghana and is expected to broaden the country's revenue whiles increasing developmental projects which will, in the long run, help the country in its financial growth.

 Source: G.I.P.C. Corporate Affairs 

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