Business News of 2014-07-29

Taskforce to check landlords, property owners soon

Government, will in the next few weeks, institute a presi¬dential taskforce to clamp down on landlords and property owners, who charge rent in foreign cur¬rencies.
“The major rationale behind the taskforce formation is to en¬sure that landlords and property owners do not overcharge their tenants especially in foreign cur¬rencies as the practice is contrary to the rent law," a document cited by Business Day had revealed.
Currently, the various stake¬holders in the housing sector including Rent Control are mak¬ing their final inputs into the document for the formation of the taskforce, whose duty will also include mobilization of rent taxes as part of efforts to improve revenue collection.
The government is hopeful that the new taskforce, when formed, will help the state gen¬erate more revenues from land¬lords and property owners to salvage the ailing economy. The rent tax currently stands at eight per cent and landlords and property owners are ex¬pected to pay this rate to govern¬ment anytime they lease out their properties.
The newspaper reports that a key stakeholder in the tax force implementation said: "the rent law demands that landlords pay rent taxes to the state but due to poor mechaniza¬tion and weak revenue mobilisa¬tion system on the part of the gov¬ernment and state institutions, the state has to lose huge sums of money from this avenue.”
The source continued: “Cur¬rently the country is facing eco¬nomic hardship due to inad¬equate donor support. To this effect, the government has now decided to tax everything and the latest to be enforced is rent tax and landlords are the key targets now.”
The Chief Rent Controller, Addo Soin Dombo in an exclu¬sive interview with Business Day confirmed that his outfit had been served with a copy of the proposed documents on the taskforce to enable him make his inputs.
He said issues of rent tax has been in existence for years and that his outfit was the right body to do the collection but lack of personnel and inadequate infra¬structures made the Rent Control ineffective.
Source: Business Day
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