GUTA’s support for 3% VAT compromising – Importers

Business News of Saturday, 8 July 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

2017-07-08

GUTA BARIMA IPresident of GUTA, Barima Dr. Ofori Ameyaw I

Business Associations protesting the implementation of the 3% VAT Flat rate scheme are skeptical of a positive outcome for the appeals to get the tax scrapped.

They contend that the apparent support by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) for the VAT could limit the chances of getting their grievances addressed.

Business Associations comprising the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Food and Beverage Association, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) have bemoaned the impact of the tax on their operations.

The move has since led to price increases on consumer goods across the country.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, the Executive Secretary for the Importers and Exporters’ Association of Ghana, Sampson Asaaki Awingobit however said they would not budge to the plea to suspend their decision.

“In our meeting with the Finance Minister on Thursday, he admitted that there was lack of consultation so they will go and do further engagements. There was nothing like we will defer the implementation or we will go back to Parliament to take up the issue that importers and exporters are raising. Everybody is just here not knowing what is next, we can only say to the consumers that prices will increase because no importer or exporter is ready to absorb the cost.”

Background

The business associations’ concerns were intensified following the implementation of the tax starting July 1, 2017.

They had earlier met with the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia for the policy to be scrapped, but to no avail.

At the time, Mr. Awingobit complained that the new system makes it difficult for importers since they have to first pay before they file for a refund.

“With the current law, what it states is that the importer can bring it, clear it at the port, pay with 17.5% VAT tax and when it is time for selling of goods that is cleared at the port, do invoice to them at 17.5% and come to government for reclaim but invoice to them at 3% meaning the difference of 14.5% is a cost to the importer,” he said.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta however maintained that the 3% VAT Flat rate is not to add any more tax obligation but to simplify the tax system.

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