April 4, 2018.
The Tax Identification Number and the fact that every citizen with the capacity of earnings must have one cannot be allowed to look like any other law in this country. The Nation needs money. Too much borrowing is not sustainable. The State’s coercive authourity must be brought to bear. The Commissioner-General of Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, has had enough energy in talking and very low energy in enforcing the law.
The Revenue Administration Act, 2016, (Act 915) came into force on January 1, 2017. The GRA Boss did not enforce the law. He went to sleep. The Center for Constitutional Order, Cencord, upon a nationwide research with a dire enforcement, woke him up from slumber on January 9, 2018. A whole year after the law has come into force. GRA still did not act, it went lethargic, until cases pending before the Courts started receiving blockage for violating the Act. The Chief Justice and the Governor of Bank of Ghana were both notified by the Center. Then pressure mounted on the Commissioner-General.
On the 9th day of February, 2018, the best the Commissioner-General could do to enforce Act 915 was to grant and confer on the Ghanaian people and their friends an immunity to further breach the law for additional two months. This conferment took the form of a Daily Graphic Publication, Friday February 9, 2018, Edition, page 46 with the caption “GRA Integrity, Fairness, Service: Tax Identification Number (TIN).” There was nothing fairness, integrity and service about this publication: it was all about another talkshop without action.
On Tuesday April 3, 2018, the Commissioner-General held a press conference reminding the Nation that he has brought his lawlessness to an end. And that starting from the morning of the said Tuesday, the law would now be enforced. Ironically whilst at his press soiree, the institutions of State which had to live the law were busily abusing it. The Banks were opening accounts without requesting TINs, DVLA registering vehicles without TINs, the Courts filing cases without TINs and the Lands Commission transacting official business and registering lands without TINs. All acting lawlessly and with amazing impunity. Some amount of evidence attached is attached to this statement accordingly.
Now, this is to inform the Commissioner – General with his wonderful men and women to go to work on this law and the object for which it was enacted. The Banks must act on the law. The Lands Commission must act on the law. The Courts ought not shame us. DVLA must come along. Or the Center says the Court shall be in Court on this law along with the Commissioner –General of GRA together with all others. This law must work. The Country needs it. The next generation of the land must not be wasted into the belief that we are a country that make laws with our eyes open but we shall never work with it. This is over.
By: Center for Constitutional Order