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Fact-checking Edudzi Tamakloe’s claim on Ghana’s tax revenue from 2017 to 2023

Claim: The head of Legal Affairs for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, has made claims about the tax revenue accumulated by the government from 2017 to 2023.

Verdict: Misleading. Data from the Ghana Revenue Authority revealed that the figures quoted by Edudzi Tamakloe needed to be more accurate. However, his claim that there has been a constant upward trajectory in tax revenue collection during Akufo-Addo’s administration is valid. 

Full Text

On March 20, 2024, the Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, accused the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) of harassing businesses under the guise of tax collection.

He voiced his concerns during a discussion with the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry members, seeking their input as the manifesto committee develops ideas for the 2024 elections. His comment has received varied criticism from the citizenry.

Due to this, the Head of Legal of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Edudzi Tamakloe, described Dr Bawumia’s claim as unfortunate because his government has benefited enormously from the authority. He quoted tax revenue the government accrued from 2017 to 2023.

According to him, the records will show that under the hard-working workers of GRA, in 2017, they made a tax of 39 billion cedis for this government. In 2018, they made 47 billion cedis. In 2019. they made 53 billion. When COVID-19 came in (2020), they made 55 billion. In 2021, they made 75 billion, and in 2022, they made 98 billion. In 2023, GRA raised 113 billion cedis.

The claim was telecast on TV3’S Big Issue and streamed on its Facebook page. It has garnered over 8,000 views. The claim can be found from the 29:30 to 30:41 of the video. 

Verification

The World Bank defines tax revenue as compulsory transfers to the central government for public purposes. On the other hand, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) explains that tax revenue forms the dominant share of revenue for many government units and is composed of compulsory transfers to the general government sector.

Given this, DUBAWA fetched data from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). The GRA is the only administration charged with the task of assessing, collecting, and accounting for tax revenue in Ghana. 

TAX REVENUE (2017-2023)
YEARGRA (₵)
201732 billion
201837 billion
201943 billion
202045 billion
202157 billion
202275 billion
2023113 billion
Source: GRA

According to the data from GRA, in 2017, the tax revenue amounted to 32 billion Ghanaian cedis. It increased to 37 billion in 2018, showing steady growth. By 2019, the tax revenue saw a further increase to 43 billion. In 2020, despite global challenges, tax revenue continued to rise, reaching 45 billion. The most substantial increase occurred in 2021, with tax revenue jumping to 57 billion. 

Significant growth continued in 2022, with tax revenue soaring to 75 billion. Finally, in 2023, there was a remarkable surge in tax revenue to 113 billion Ghanaian cedis. 

After reviewing data from the 2022 Annual Report of the Ghana Revenue Authority, DUBAWA discovered that aside from the 2023 tax revenue data quoted by Lawyer Tamakloe, the rest of the data from 2017 to 2022 needs to be revised. 

However, while awaiting the publication of the 2023 annual report from the authority to obtain official data on the tax revenue for 2023, the immediate former Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, had indicated that the authority had collected a total tax revenue of GH¢113.06 billion for the 2023 fiscal year, surpassing a revised target of GH₵109.19 billion.

Despite this, it should be noted that even though they indicated a consistent upward trajectory in tax revenue collection over the years, as explained by Edudzi Tamakloe, the figures quoted by Lawyer Tamakloe were inaccurate.

Conclusion

As quoted by the Head of Legal Affairs for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, inaccurate data was found from the Ghana Revenue Authority.

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