MEDIUM TAXPAYER OFFICE (MTO)
In pursuit of best practice in tax administration, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has modernized the domestic tax procedures for efficient use of resources, also for the purposes of providing taxpayer services that meets the particular needs of taxpayers in the country. The reform process involves segmentation of domestic taxpayers into Large, Medium and Small taxpayers based on their annual turnover.
Taxpayers with an annual turnover of over GH₵5 million are classified as Large taxpayers. This category also includes specialist industries irrespective of their turnover. These are upstream and institutions, insurance companies, mining companies and quarries, and members of groups of companies where at least one member qualifies as a large taxpayer.
Taxpayers within the turnover bracket of GH₵90,000 up to GH₵5million are categorized as Medium taxpayers whiles those with an annual turnover of less than GH₵90,000 are classified as Small taxpayers.
This new approach to tax administration is based on functional lines rather the previous tax-type basis of administration. Therefore, typical work processes in a domestic tax office such as registration, returns processing, debt management and audit can be carried within these One-Stop-Shop offices for efficiency.
WHAT IS MEDIUM TAXPAYER OFFICE (MTO)?
The MTO is a tax office under the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD) of GRA, which caters for taxpayers within the turnover bracket of GH₵90,000 up to GH₵5million. MTOs are therefore a One-Stop-Shop where all domestic tax transactions for taxpayers within this bracket can be carried out. Special attention is focused on the needs and requirements of medium taxpayers in an MTO.
Taxpayers within this bracket, like those in the Large Taxpayer Office use the Self-Assessment approach for all taxes they pay.
- Purpose of MTO
- To provide sufficient attention to the needs of medium taxpayers
- To administer taxes along functional lines which would allow for specialization and professionalization of workforce. In other words, staff develop capacity, understand and manage the peculiar needs of the medium taxpayer.
- To ensure better and improved efficiency and productivity as resources are better utilized and deployed.
- To provide simplified payment system and returns processing arrangements to minimize compliance cost to taxpayers.
- It also leads to improved delivery of services for medium taxpayers.
SERVICES MTOs OFFER
MTOs are established to be a One-Stop-Shop and customer-friendly tax offices for medium taxpayers. This office provides a single, comprehensive approach to taxpayer services that offers information and support to meet taxpayers’ needs in one place. The One-Stop-Shop enables a taxpayer to register for all current tax obligations and receive one identification number for all tax administration purposes. Taxpayers can also obtain tax clearance certificate and other relevant documents from their MTOs. For instance, taxpayers can pay all their domestics taxes (either direct or indirect) such as PAYE, Corporate Income Tax, VAT/NHIL, Excise duty, royalties and Communication Service Tax at the MTO.
MTOs have three main functional units namely, Taxpayers services, Debt Management Compliance and Enforcement as well as Audit.
- The Taxpayer Service Unit;
Takes care of all front line services to taxpayers such as registration/deregistration, tax education,and enquiries/compliant.
- The Debt Management Compliance and Enforcement Unit;
Is responsible for back end services to taxpayers such as monitoring the debts of taxpayers, ensuring compliance with returns filing and payment, identifying non-filers and late filers and enforcing payment of tax arrears.
- The Audit Unit;
This unit’s function is to improve taxpayer compliance through effective risk based audit programs through field and desk audit.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE MEDIUM TAXPAYER
Medium taxpayers are presumed to be established businesses that can afford the services of professional accountants or book keepers and are therefore required to Self-assessed. All taxpayers classified under MTO are expected to meet their responsibilities under the law which include the following:
- Maintenance of good record
- Submission of returns by the due dates
- Payment of all taxes due
- Making records available for examination
- Informing his/her MTO of material change in business
WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE MTO?
A typical MTO is headed by an Assistant Commissioner, assisted by Chief Revenue Officers who are in charge of Audit, Debt Management, Compliance and Enforcement Unit and Taxpayer Services.
WHAT BENEFITS WOULD TAXPAYERS DERIVE FROM MTOs?
Taxpayers would benefit from the improved function –based structure and processes put in place at the MTOs. Some of these are:
- Improved service delivery
- Reduce tax compliance cost
- Improved business processes backed by ICT
- Better customer service delivery
- A common source for tax procedures
- A single source for tax inquiries
- Improved quality of customer records