President Akufo-Addo says starting April 1, 2021, all national identification numbers will become Tax Identification numbers (TIN).
He said when his government first assumed office in 2017, it was faced with largely an informal economy.
“From 1st April, and this is not an April Fool’s prank, all National ID numbers will become Tax Identification Numbers. In so doing, the number of people registered by GRA for tax purposes will increase from the current three million (3 million) to 15.5 million.”
That, he explained, his government decided to formalise the country’s economy by embarking on digitisation exercise.
He noted that after four years in office, there had been progress in all areas in the formalisation of the country’s economy.
President Akufo-Addo, while delivering the 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, March 9, 2021, said the country’s economy has become more formalised under his watch than any government since the country’s independence.
He explained that through the National Identification Authority (NIA), more than 15 million Ghanaians had been registered, an exercise he said will greatly improve the country’s digitisation drive.
That, he noted, the national identification cards will be turned into tax identification numbers, beginning April this year.
President Akufo-addo said when the national ID numbers are converted into tax numbers will increase the number of those registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for tax purposes from three million to 15.5 million.
He said, for instance, that at the end of 2017, only 715,000 Ghanaians had tax numbers, saying “the increase to 15.5 million is simply phenomenal.”
In a related development, President Akufo-Addo said, beginning second quarter of this year, all national ID numbers will also become SSNIT numbers.
That, he explained, will increase the number of people on the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) database from four million to 15.5 million, making it easier for new contributors to be listed onto SSNIT’s database.
The President indicated that National ID numbers will be linked to all sim cards, bank accounts Drivers’ licence among other forms of identification across the country.
President Akufo-Addo said: “I should recall that at the end of 2016, only 750,000 people had TIN numbers. The increase to 15.5 million in just four years is simply phenomenal. Similarly, from the 2nd Quarter of this year, all National ID numbers will also become SSNIT numbers. This will increase the number of people on the SSNIT database from four million (4 million) to 15.5 million! The National ID numbers will also become NHIS numbers. Very soon we will link the National ID to all SIM cards, bank accounts, Births and Death Registry, DVLA, and passports.”
He further revealed that more than 70 percent of Ghanaians have access to financial services either through mobile money or bank accounts.
“Through the implementation of the Digital Property Addressing System, every location in Ghana has a digital address. The process of affixing unique property address plates for some 7.5 million properties in all sixteen (16) regions has also started. For the first time in Ghana, more than seventy percent (70%) of the population has access to financial services either through a bank account or a mobile money account. We have been able to do so through the implementation of mobile money interoperability (between bank accounts and mobile wallets), with Ghana as the first and only country in Africa to have done so.
“It is, therefore, not surprising that Ghana is the fastest growing mobile money market in Africa. Furthermore, our successful introduction of the Universal QR (Quick Response) CODE for payments across banks, telcos, fintechs and merchants will propel Ghana to be amongst the first countries in Africa (if not the first) to move towards a largely cashless economy, when fully rolled out across the country with the support of the Bank of Ghana.”
He also indicated that all operations of government institutions including the ports, NHIS, DVLA, GRA, and the Passport Office have been digitized adding that “One of the most dramatic examples of this development has been the ability of SSNIT to pay pensions within ten (10) days of application, as opposed to the endless delays of the past.”