The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), purportedly to justify the use of a state institution as a ruse to conceal a private company’s illegal takeover of the collection of Property Rate Taxes from Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies (MMDAs), has made a spirited defence, according to the Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG).
Given that ChaLoG was correct in stating that the GRA is the official government agency responsible for collecting property rate taxes, ChaLoG asked, “Does the GRA consider MMDAs to be government agencies?
Are the funds the GRA claims to be collecting on behalf of the MMDAs considered government funds? Which government account are the collections that were deposited after the allotted 48 hours? Why is the GRA violating the GRA Act, 2009 (Act 791), which only grants it rights up to 3%, by collecting 30% commission from the MMDAs? In order to take over the collection of Property Rate Taxes from the MMDAs, whose local government organisation did the GRA sign the contract with?
Was there a General Assembly Resolution issued by the 261 MMDAs that required that organisation to sign any contract transferring property rate tax collection to the GRA? Is the myassembly.gov.gh Account owned by the government or a commercial business? If it is a government account, why did the GRA move the funds from the myassembly.gov.gh account to the account of a private business so that they may be sent to the MMDAs? Why would the GRA provide the account to ratepayers for government funds to be placed into it and maintained there for longer than 48 hours if it belonged to a private company? Why was the alleged 70% share for the MMDAs transmitted to them through a private company’s account rather than the official receiving account, myassembly.gov.gh?
“Given that these monies are or were government funds, why did the Private Company subtract its 30% Commission from the alleged 70% before sending it to the MMDAs? Why were the transfers made to the MMDAs by the Private Company not accompanied by the total amount of money collected in each of the MMDAs as proof of their 70% ownership?
ChaLoG stated that the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791) specifically specifies how the Authority is to manage the income it collects on behalf of the government.
The Financial Administration Act of 2003 (Act 654) shall be followed when depositing income received by the Authority under this Act into the Consolidated Fund, according to Section 21(1). The Authority shall keep no more than three percent of the net yearly revenue obtained, according to paragraph 21(2).
The Public Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I 2378) specifically state in Section 37 (1) regarding the payments of revenues collected that “The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other covered organisations must make sure that all tax and non-tax revenues as well as any sums payable to them are received and deposited into designated government accounts within forty-eight hours.”
“ChaLoG’s independent investigations have shown that the GRA is only being utilised as a front to hide the fact that a private corporation is actually collecting the property rate taxes, not the GRA itself, as had previously been believed.
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Financial Management Regulations, 2019 (L.I 2378) and the Financial Administration Act, 2003 (Act 654) were flagrantly broken by the GRA and the private enterprise, who conspired to keep government monies longer than the required 48 hours.
“ChaloG further contends that even if the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA’s) claim to be the entity collecting property rate taxes is to be believed, they will still be violating Section 21 of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791) which forbids them from keeping more than 3% of the public funds they collect.”