Following the constant heavy losses in tax revenue due to tax evasion and avoidance, the Ghana Revenue Authority earlier in the year requested the establishment of a tax court to ensure effective and expeditious resolution of matters concerning tax.
In a letter signed by the Chief Justice and dated 16th April, 2021 to the National President of the Ghana Bar Association, the Judicial Service has approved the establishment of a Tax Court “to deal with the prosecution of tax cases.”
According to the letter, the tax court will be located at the Criminal Division of the Appeal Court within the Supreme Court buildings with the effective date of commencement to be communicated “in due course.”
Losses in tax revenue
According to a research report , Ghana loses over $45 million in potential tax revenue from the informal sector each year.
In a related article, “about US$140 million taxes were lost to the state in the mining sector alone between 2005 and 2007.” And in 2012, “an additional US$36million was shipped abroad mostly to non-taxable offshore accounts.
This year-on-year revenue losses to the government has therefore necessitated the establishment of a Tax Court which according to some analysts will help in guarding against revenue losses.
In an interview monitored by Ghana Talks Business, Tax analyst Timore Francis Boi said “It’s going to serve a very strong warning to persons who don’t like paying taxes. If you look at Section 80 of the Revenue Administration ACT, it says that failure to pay taxes can lead to you being imprisoned. So if you see your colleague going to prison for some tax offence you are likely to learn from that.”
“Punishment for the offences committed by companies are expected to be borne by the leadership of the organizations in default,” he further added.