General News of Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei Mensah has directed officials at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at Ashtown to immediately unlock shops of some traders at the Kumasi Central Market.
The traders who previously paid GHS500 are now taxed GHS1, 300, a situation they described as unfortunate.
He said a meeting was held on July 12 with all the heads of the small and medium taxpayers unit in the Ashanti Region as a result of complaints by traders that their shops had been locked up due to their failure to pay the ‘killer’ taxes. Mr Osei indicated that it was agreed for the GRA officials to go and unlock the shops so that the GRA officials can submit relevant documents for the new taxes.
“Notwithstanding, the Krofrom or Ashtown small taxpayer office went again to lock up the shops which nearly resulted in demonstrations across Kumasi,” he said “adding the 2017 tax assessment figures are abnormal and totally unacceptable”.
Mr Mensah said possible reasons for the actions of the taxpayers’ office is “pure concoction of inefficiency, incompetence and corruption and this government will not sanction such an astronomical increase in taxes”.
He said the taxpayers have been instructed to unlock the shops while investigation continues into the tax increments to bring finality to the issue.
The minister, however, admonished the traders to go and pay the rates for 2016 until the matter has been resolved.