Business News Wed, 15 Nov 2017

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2018 Budget: Government to block loopholes with new tax compliance measures

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that the tax burden on compliant taxpayers will be lessened through the implementation of tax compliance measures.

Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Mr. Ofori-Atta said that government intends to ‘shift the focus of economic policy from taxation to production will be made possible by broadening the tax base and ensuring compliance’.

“Government’s strategy to shift the focus of economic policy from taxation to production must necessarily come with greater need to broaden the tax base and ensure compliance. That is the only way to spread the national tax burden evenly across the population and lessen the tax burden on compliant tax payers”, he stated.

In view of this, the Finance Minister said that the NPP administration intends to apply tax compliance measures such as a reform of the Customs Suspense and Transit regimes.

“The customs suspense regime permits importers to suspend payment of import duties because the imports are to be kept in bonded warehouses. There is evidence that these trade facilitation arrangements are being abused. To remedy this and reduce the risk to revenue, importers will be required to submit Letters of Credit, guarantees or insurance cover from participating financial institutions before their goods are warehoused”, he elaborated.

The transit regime permits the clearing of transit goods without payment of duty.

He also mentioned the deployment of fiscal electronic device as another tax compliance measure which will assist in record keeping and address the issue of control verification within the business community.

“The frequent audit (or control verification) of businesses has been a source of concern for the businesses community. In response to these concerns, government, in 2018, will deploy the Fiscal Electronic Device to VAT registered businesses. This will have the effect of VAT compliance and record keeping”, he said.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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