The establishment of an independent tax appeals board, under the Revenue Administration (Amendment) Bill 2020, to hear and determine appeals against tax decisions made by the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is estimated to cost government GH¢2.5m for the first year, a parliamentary report has noted.
In pursuit of measures that will improve revenue administration and tax compliance in Ghana, the government has proposed the introduction of an alternative dispute resolution mechanism to resolve tax disputes.
Alternative dispute resolution is widely accepted as the best and most cost-effective approach to resolving tax disputes.
The establishment of the independent tax appeals board to hear tax matters prior to adjudication in the courts is expected to instill confidence in investors and reduce the time spent on litigation for both taxpayers and revenue administrators.
Moving for the adoption of the report during the second reading of the bill, a Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng, said the bill also seeks to promote voluntary tax compliance and will introduce a voluntary disclosure programme, whereby taxpayers who voluntarily file their taxes, or voluntarily disclose errors or omissions on their filed tax returns, would not be made to pay any penalties that would otherwise have resulted.
This is expected to lead to an increase in the number of corrected returns and of registered taxpayers, especially individuals.