Some powerful individuals in government with vested interest are reportedly pushing for the setting up of a new and foreign-owned tax platform for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which will cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars.
Reports by local media cited inside sources as saying the government officials, some of whom are from the Ministry of Finance, are doing this in the absence of the Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Dr. Amishaddai Owusu-Ansah, who is out of the country at the moment.
They are strongly pushing the person acting in office of the Commissioner-General to sign off on this suspicious transaction before the substantive GRA boss returns.
The new integrated tax administration platform is set to replace the successful Ghana Integrated Tax Management and Information System (GITMIS 3) which is Ghanaian-owned with 100% Ghanaian staff.
Checks indicate that the GITMIS platform, which those individuals are seeking to replace, was instrumental and efficient in the setting up of the Ghana.gov platform, the change over for the GCNet TRIPS, the new Election Management System for the Election 2020 and recently, the integration of the E-Levy.
Currently, the GRA, with its eVAT system, has a tax system that rivals any tax system in the world.
A replacement of the GITMIS system which has met all requirements from the GRA, with a foreign-owned tax platform or system, will be a huge blow to the country’s budding software industry.
Moreover, the economy is in a dire strait, so this is not the time to sign off millions of dollars for a fanciful project when there is already an efficient integrated tax administration system in place.
The simple fact that the persons pushing the deal are doing so in the absence of the GRA boss, who is only on a trip outside the country, raises the red flag, and every well-meaning Ghanaian should be concerned.
This, however, can be prevented by the Board of the GRA should they stand opposed to the deal, the sources indicated.