Business News of 2014-08-28

More taxes generated in Osu than Ashanti Region

An Assistant Commissioner of Domestic Tax Revenue of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Edward Gyambrah, yesterday told tax experts in Kumasi that tax generated in Osu, Accra alone was more than what the GRA collected from the entire Ashanti Region.

He said Osu did not have more companies and businesses than the Ashanti Region however the underhand dealings, failure to comply with laid down GRA procedures, as well as ignorance and lack of structured processes in the running of businesses were to blame.

The Assistant Commissioner alleged that even registered businesses in the Ashanti Region failed to pay their tax returns, which was stifling the revenue base of the authority.

As an immediate measure, the GRA is to organise a swoop on such businesses for them to face the full rigours of the law.

Mr Gyambrah was addressing stakeholders including the country’s tax experts at this year’s Pre-Budget Tax Consultative Meeting in Kumasi.

The meeting followed earlier agitations by tax stakeholders that they were not being involved in the formulation of tax policies.

He emphasised that non-payment of taxes was a serious crime, saying there was the need for business people to be fully educated on tax issues.

The Head of Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Tony Dzadzra, said the collection of VAT in Ghana was falling because those expected to collect the taxes preferred to negotiate with businessmen to pocket the money.

Beyond the introduction of many taxes to increase the country’s revenue base, plans are also afoot to tighten the existing ones and block all loopholes.

Also as one of the new measures, all Free Zone enterprises which, hitherto were exempted from tax payment would be drafted into the tax net to pay the same 25 per cent tax as their local competitors.

Aside that, ‘tax stamps’ are to be embossed on all bottled water from November this year to ensure that the government got the right number of the items produced with its correspondent revenue to the state.

In the past, it has been difficult to determine the number of products sold by the water-producing companies and some allegedly under declared profits and reduced taxes paid to the government.

From November, all non-stamped water bottles are to be rejected and declared illegal on the market.

Source: graphic.com
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