Business News of 2014-01-23

Gov’t can’t implement windfall tax regime – Tax Consultant

A Tax Consultant, Mr Abadallah Ali-Nakyea, has said it will be impossible for any government to implement the windfall tax regime in the future.

This, he said, was because the country’s systems were not working well to support such interventions.

“The implementation of the Windfall tax in a country where the system is working well and gold prices are high doesn’t create problems but in the situation where the gold price has gone down and they are struggling to even maintain workers in business, [it] creates a situation where the additional tax doesn’t work.”

His comments come on the back of government’s decision to abandon the implementation of the windfall tax regime in the mining sector following threats from major players in the sector.

According to President Dramani Mahama, massive layoffs by mining companies has forced government to put on hold moves to implement the windfall tax regime in the industry.

But speaking on Eye Witness News, Mr. Ali-Nakyea dismissed those claims.

In his opinion, a massive layoff by mining companies was not the main factor that pushed government to rescind its decision.

Mr. Ali-Nakyea further attributed the abandonment of the tax windfall to failure on the part of government to engage in stakeholder consultations.

“Tax policy is not supposed to hurt an industry so if you coming out with a tax policy, the good thing that will make it succeed is to have stakeholder consultation. You will be amazed that during such consultations, the industry players can come out with alternatives that will generate the needed revenue.”

He also emphasized the need to secure the sustainability of the working class in the mining sector to ensure payment of taxes.

“Let's try and secure the sustainability of our working people because when they earn the income, they pay taxes and when they stop working, we lose as a nation.”

Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Mines has welcomed the decision by government to abandon the windfall tax regime.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Mr. Tony Aubeng said; "I think that the decision by government not to introduce the windfall tax regime was done in the interest of the country. Sometimes people think that the chamber has a selfish reason, but it was in the interest of Ghana that this tax was not introduced."

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