The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), the Attorney-General’s Department and the Judicial Service have been sued over the introduction of the Tax Identification Number (TIN) policy.
The Centre for Juvenile Delinquency, an NGO, is seeking to invoke the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court on the consistency or otherwise of the law governing the TIN with other Constitutional provisions.
The TIN policy, which began on April 1, 2018, makes it impossible for anyone to clear goods at the port, register land at the Lands Commission; obtain a tax clearance certificate from the GRA or even open a bank account without the TIN registration.
In addition, one cannot register a company at the Registrar General’s Department nor register a vehicle at the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Authority without a TIN.
Furthermore, one cannot obtain payment for jobs done for government or bid for a contract in any government agency. In the event that a person is duped, ejected by a landlord or any other issue that will require that he files a complaint at the court, the person will not be able to do same without a TIN.
The introduction of the policy has met with a mixed reaction from the public. While some economists have described it as a good step to firm up Ghana’s tax base, others say the implementation process is grossly discouraging.
In the suit, the Centre for Juvenile Delinquency is seeking a declaration by the Supreme Court that a provision in the TIN policy that prohibits a person from filing a case in court unless that person quotes a Tax Identification Number obtained from the Ghana Revenue Authority is inconsistent with the person’s constitutional right for access to court.