Gov’t to review tax exemptions to protect local businesses – Ken Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta is the finance minister[/caption] The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has stated government is working on reviewing the tax exemptions guidelines so as to protect local businesses in the country. The minister observed that there is the need to encourage local entrepreneurship in the country for which reason a review of the tax exemption guidelines will partly be in their favour. In a forum with the top 100  taxpayers in Accra, Mr. Ofori-Atta, noted the review will help to patch some leakages and also to sanitize the mining sector. “Then also we have the issue of exemptions and this is where a colleague, I mentioned about the mining companies, and therefore a review of all the exemption rules to make sure that we plug all these holes and do not injure local entrepreneurship in the process”, he said. The minister also noted that there are times when tax leakages happen as a result of the activities of the Ghana Revenue Authority and that the government will have those fixed too. “And then we have what we call in-bound leakages in which we as customs do not seem to have a full oversight of the goods on arrival in Ghana and the scans are also infrequently used or poor quality and that’s us being complicit in it”, he said. He said the overall objective of the review is to ensure that taxpayers pay what is due government while still ensuring that there is a high level of tax compliance. He cautioned taxpayers not to take advantage of the existing systems but rather collaborate with the Ghana Revenue Authority to ensure tax compliance to facilitate their businesses. Meanwhile, some of the top 100 taxpayers are worried that the GRA is yet to implement the newly introduced 12.5% VAT at the ports which was supposed to be effective August 1. But the GRA said their systems are still under configuration for the new VAT to take effect.

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