The Ghana Revenue Authority has Launched Prosecution Policy to help mobilise revenue for national development in transparent ,fair ,effective and efficient manner and also fight against non- compliance, tax and customs fraud .

Speaking at the Launch ,the Commissioner General ,Mr.Emmanuel Kofi Nti stated that ,the purpose of the policy is to initiate measures to fulfill the core- mandate of mobilising revenue for national development. The policy is intended to be used by all GRA Officers who are expressly mandated to enforce the laws governing taxes and duties in the country.

He added that, the aim behind the policy is to define clearly the circumstances where prosecution against tax and customs offenders will be considered and to provide a common understanding of the rules by the staff of the Ghana Revenue Authority .

According to him, Ghana Revenue Authority is giving all income earning persons ,potential and existing recalcitrant taxpayers the opportunity to amend their ways and become compliant.
“It is for this reason that particularly over the past two years ,GRA has intensified its public education and sensitisation programmes nationwide to deepen awareness of various topical tax issues and the need to be tax complaint to avoid any infractions of the tax laws which may lead to GRA initiating prosecutions”, he said.

Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti assured the public that, GRA will not use the launch and implementation of prosecution policy to harass existing and potential taxpayers on the least pretext nor to settle scores but rather, prosecution will be used to complement administrative actions contained in the tax laws for non- compliance to ensure that there is a constant and regular flow of revenue to the national coffers.

The Commissioner General made certain principles and factors that underlie the prosecution policy or to decide whether prosecution action is the most appropriate remedy for dealing with non- compliance.
Ghana Revenue Authority will consider this:
*An offences may not proceed to prosecution where an administrative response is more appropriate;
*A prosecution case will not commence where there is insufficient evidence;
*The cost of pursuing prosecution for GRA should not be disproportionate to the possible benefit to be obtained, except in case where the establishment and prosecution of the offence will create legal precedents that may be of long term revenue benefit to GRA;
*The decision to prosecute shall not bar the use of other civil recovery measures ;
*If deemed necessary GRA may withdraw charges against a taxpayer;
*GRA shall closely monitor all cases forwarded for prosecution.

He noted that ,due to the paramount importance of the public interest, the policy would be made available to be all interest members of the public , particularly taxpayers ,representatives or advisors, tax consultants, the legal profession and the police.

Meanwhile ,the Ashanti Regional Minister Hon.Simon Osei Mensah who graced the Occasion cautioned and advised that ,anytime GRA decides to go to court for prosecution ,they should do their homework very well ,gather enough evidence to ensure successful prosecution.
“Such positive prosecutions will inspire confidence in the system and give GRA value for money in short ,medium and long terms”, he hinted.

He therefore called on Ghanaians to file their tax returns,to avoid GRA prosecution policy.

Source: Baffoe Agyekum

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