Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has replied to Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on his plan to provide a tax amnesty should he win this year’s elections to be president.
Dr Bawumia, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said in his address on Wednesday, February 7 that “To start the new tax system on a clean slate, my government will provide a tax amnesty, a complete exemption from the payment of taxes for a specified period, and the waiving of interest and penalties for up to a certain year to individuals and businesses for failures to file taxes in previous years so that everyone will start afresh.”
However, reacting to this on his X platform, Mr Terkper said “We had a Tax Amnesty in 2017. To date, no comprehensive report has be presented to Parliament. Yet another Amnesty in 2025?”
Dr Bawumia also stated categorically that he would abolish the tax on electronic financial transactions, e-levy, if elected President of Ghana.
The controversial tax was introduced in 2022, and prior to the introduction, Vice President Bawumia had declared his opposition to levies on electronic financial transaction in an interview.
Delivering his first major address to the nation after his election as NPP flagbearer, during which he gave broad policy outlines of a Bawumia Presidency, Dr. Bawumia minced no words in declaring his opposition to taxes on electronic financial transactions, declaring that he will abolish e-levy as President.
“To move towards a cashless economy, however, we have to encourage the population to use electronic channels payment. To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore, be abolished,” he declared at the UPSA auditorium on February 7.
Dr. Bawumia also announced that as part of a new tax regime by his government, he will also abolish the emission tax, tax on betting as well as the proposed 15% VAT on electricity tariffs, if it is in existence by January 2025.
He also announced that his government would introduce what he described as a friendly, flat tax regime for Ghana, which will boost individuals and businesses, particularly small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).
“My administration will introduce a very simple, citizen and business-friendly flat tax regime. A flat tax of a percentage of income for individuals and SMEs, which constitute 98% of all businesses in Ghana, with appropriate exemption thresholds set to protect the poor,” Dr. Bawumia indicated.