The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is to announce bank accounts and email addresses to taxpayers in the country to enable them honour their tax obligations as anti-coronavirus lockdown forces it to close its offices in parts of the country from Monday.
Government in its latest move to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus in communities has announced a two-week partial lockdown of Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi effective 1:00 a.m. Monday.
Non-essential service providers and business in the affected areas described as hotspots, will be shut down and movement of people restricted as confirmed cases of the virus surges to 141 with 5 deaths and two recoveries in two weeks.
On the back of upcoming lockdown, the GRA in a statement Saturday announced the closure of all its offices in the affected areas from Monday and directed staff in those offices to “stay at home”.
“All Heads of offices within the affected areas are to ensure that their office premises are secured by Sunday 29th March 2020. They are also to ensure that all equipment, including air conditioners and computers are properly turned off,” it directed.
Despite the closure, it said taxpayers will be given bank account details and email addresses into which they will be required to pay their taxes and file their returns.
“Taxpayers will be provided with details of Bank Accounts and email addresses to enable them pay their taxes through the banks,” the statement issued and signed by the Commissioner General Ammishaddai Owusu Amoah said.
But the decision by the GRA appears to conflict with President Nana Akufo-Addo’s directive for all tax payments and filing date for businesses to be deferred from April and June.
“We are providing additional relief, such as extension of the tax filing date from April to June…” the President said while announcing a string of stimulus packages for the country in the wake of the pandemic that is likely to cause economic recession.
Meanwhile, the GRA said all its offices in the regions not affected by the continue to report to work, “but must ensure that the social distancing directive is strictly adhered to and all protocols relating to the prevention of COVID-19 that have been communicated must be followed”.
“Management assures all staff of its commitment to their wellbeing and will communicate additional directives to staff where necessary,” it concluded.