Business News of Thursday, 3 August 2017
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) hosted business leaders to its ‘Ghana on The Go CEO’s Breakfast Meeting’ series at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, on 3rd August, 2017.
This edition of the quarterly event was titled, ‘Policy Update: Ghana’s Tax Exemption Regime’ and convened to update the business and diplomatic community on the implementation of the new tax exemptions policy introduced in April 2017. The meeting also provided, diplomats, and business owners an open platform to engage policy makers on their experience with the new regulations.
Also in attendance was the Director of Financial Investment Division at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Samson Akligoh, and the Technical Advisor to the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Christian Soti. They gave further details on how the new tax policy is executed on a practical level, and clarified on particular sections and application of the regulation.
About the GIPC CEO’s Breakfast Meeting
Introduced in 2013, the quarterly series is held to engage the Ghanaian business community on government policy deliberations and decision-making, and to ensure adequate representation of their views and concerns.
In the first quarter of 2017, the event was rebranded to reflect the new direction and vision of the Centre. The first edition of the ‘Ghana on the Go Breakfast Meeting’ series was convened to review the 2013 GIPC Act, its impact, and suggestions for improvement.
The outcomes of the event further underscored the need for continuous engagement with the private sector and other key stakeholders on current business challenges and opportunities to produce dynamic and innovative solutions aimed at ensuring that Ghana becomes the best place to do business in Africa.
The new tax policy
The government, through its 2017 budget issued a directive for all companies which qualify for exemption to pay the duties upfront and then apply for a refund. The new rules were implemented in April 2017.
Exemption process at GIPC
Giving a brief on the tax exemptions application process at the GIPC, the Chief Executive Officer Mr Yofi Grant, said the Centre was mandated under section 26 of the GIPC Act to grant import duty and Value Added Tax (VAT) exemptions to qualified companies registered with Centre.
“A typical approved strategic investment has incentives which include exemptions from the payment of import duty and VAT on plant machinery and equipment specifically for the project, construction materials specifically for the project, and on locally purchased construction materials and equipment required specifically for the project,” he added.
Mr Grant, however, urged participants at the meeting not to hesitate, and share their experiences with the new tax regime to better inform government on how to make the business environment more convenient.