Dr Ali-Nakyea, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the end of the Internal Audit Agency Conference in Accra, said many people in the tax-paying bracket would be willing to pay their taxes if more digital platforms were available rather than going to a tax office to do so.
“If you have an app, just like Jumia and Glovo, on which taxpayers can conveniently make payments as compared to walking to the GRA office to file their tax returns, people would be more open to doing so. That is what the GRA has recently put into practice through the GRA portal,” he said.
Dr Ali-Nakyea, who spoke on the topic “Optimising State Revenue through Digitalisation for National Development; the Role of Stakeholders”, touched on the importance of digitalisation in mobilising revenue.
“In recent times everyone across the world is going digital in every area of their lives as well as professionally,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic gave us the unique opportunity for this evolution to come into full existence, making us stay connected in real-time while working virtually.”
“Therefore, if the whole world is moving in this direction, as internal auditors we should be able to put in place policies and measures to mobilize the needed revenue from these virtual businesses and transactions as well as businesses operating in virtual and physical spaces.”
Dr Ali-Nakyea noted that in line with this changing environment, it was important that policies and measures were put in place to address the country’s revenue mobilisation issues, as well as focus on optimising its collection and expenditure for long-term economic growth.
He argued that digitalisation provides a win-win situation for tax administrators and taxpayers while widening the tax bracket.
“Digitalising the tax mobilisation process increases motivation for administrators in their work, with the submission of information, which informed the analysis and decision-making processes of the economic trend, making them more productive in their operations as well as spending…” Dr Ali-Nakyea said.
“On the other hand, taxpayers are exposed to a simplified and varied number of taxpayer services leaving them more satisfied with their overall experience as well as preventing tax errors due to automation.”
“In a fast-growing digital world, with social media being of great importance in the lives of most young adults, there is an avenue for awareness creation and tax education on social media taxpayers.”
“Additionally, due to the incidence of mobile phones and mobile money platforms, taxpayers can be linked with tax paying mobile money platforms to facilitate and encourage payment, thereby widening the tax bracket and facilitating payments, just as the GRA (Ghana Revenue Authority) has instituted through its cashless policy via mobile app and USSD, by dialling *222#”, he said.
The Internal Audit Agency is a body established by the Internal Audit Agency Act, 2003 (Act 658) with the mandate of ensuring that national resources are not only adequately safeguarded but used in the most effective ways for accelerated development.
The three-day conference was on the theme: “Injecting Fiscal Discipline in Resource Mobilisation and Utilisation for Sustainable Development: The Role of Internal Auditors”.