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Business News Thu, 15 Nov 2018

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'We will shift collection of tax on small scale mining to the point of export' - Finance minister

Government has said to simplify the collection of withholding tax for both small scale mining operators and tax authorities, the point of collection of the tax will be shifted to the point of export.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said in the Bill to make this happen, the exact details of the new arrangement and the benefits to both small scale mining operators and other industry operators would be clearly captured.

Mr Ofori-Atta said this when he presented the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government on the theme: “A Stronger Economy for Jobs and Prosperity.”

He said a key challenge in optimizing mining revenues for the State was the verification, assessment and collection of what was due the State and in spite of work done to address these challenges, some loopholes, escape hatches, implementation weaknesses, and administrative lapses still existed.

He said government would intensify measures to address these challenges in the short to medium term, indicating that additional measures would be aggressively deployed to enforce existing legislation and regulations.

He said the strategies to be adopted would be most intensive in the following areas including ensuring greater scrutiny of the quantity and quality of minerals produced in Ghana as the basis of revenue determination and export valuation and curbing base erosion as a source of systemic undervaluation of royalties and profits.

The rest are tightening the regime that governs foreign exchange repatriation through the Bank of Ghana, capitalizing Tax Expenditures (Exemptions) and recognizing them as additional government equity holdings in mining companies; and revitalising the Inter-Agency Technical Committee on Mining.

He said the need to broaden the tax base has never been lost on Ghana as a country, meanwhile some efforts have been made even by previous administrations, but too many individuals and businesses still operate outside the tax net.

He said this challenge called for more creative strategies and new approaches to achieve the needed results.

The Minister said in 2019, government would begin to apply sanctions to State and private entities that fail to enforce these Tax Identification Number (TIN) requirements, adding that government, in providing social services and benefits provided by the State, would require beneficiaries or their guardians to have a TIN.

He said these would complement the current efforts by the Ghana Revenue Authority to get more persons and businesses on their radar.

Source: ghananewsagency.org

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