The Ghana Revenue Authority has announced plans to change the previously issued Tax Identification Numbers of individuals to their Ghana national ID card numbers. Implementation is expected to commence on April 1, 2021.
The Ghana Revenue Authority aims to widen the tax net with this change. GRA is yet to specify how the change will be effected, whether individuals will need to write to the GRA or whether GRA will obtain the Ghana card numbers directly from the National Identification Authority. It is also unclear how non-resident individuals will be treated under the new Identification regime. Presumably, their Tax identification numbers will continue to be effective.
According to Regulation 7 of the National Identity Register Regulations, 2012 (L.I 2111), the Ghana National ID card must be used in the following transactions: (a) application for and issuance of a passport; (b) application for and issuance of a driver's licence; (c) opening of individual or personal bank accounts; (d) purchase of insurance policies; (e) purchase, transfer, and registration of land by an individual or a connected transaction subject to the provisions of other enactments; (f) transactions pertaining to individuals in respect of pensions; (g) transactions specified under the National Health Insurance Scheme; (h) transactions that have social security implications; (i) consumer credit transactions; (j) registration of voters; (k) payment of taxes; (l) registration of SIM cards; (m)applications for public or government services, facilities, approvals, permissions or benefits, and (n) any other transaction which the Authority may determine and publish in the Gazette
In line with this, we expect that other state institutions, financial institutions, and other businesses will also follow GRA’s lead. This announcement by GRA is significant not only because of its impact on affected individuals but also because it signals a major shift in how state institutions will operate in the future. Until now, information sharing between state institutions has not been seamless, creating serious inefficiencies and opportunities for corruption. This announcement may signal the beginning of the end of this.