Tax exemption policy: Gov’t pays GHc54m as refund to businesses

Government paid out about GH54million as refund to businesses under the new tax exemption policy as at June this year.

The policy aimed at checking abuses and revenue losses requires that businesses make down payments of all tax obligations and subsequently apply for a refund.

Director of the Finance Sector Division of the Ministry of Finance, Samson Akligoh said the policy is important in resetting the economy for successful business operations.

 Mr. Akligoh said, “Yes there are challenges and which the Ministry is aware of, but I think the response mechanisms show the new policy regime has also been swift.”

 He said, “the concern is that we have to position Ghana as the most business friendly environment in Africa and we can do that, but this will be threatened if all of us take it for granted that those who abuse taxes under this regime should be protected because it will inconvenient the good people who pay the tax.”

“The result of not curbing this behavior from the policy side is very clear,” he said.

Mr. Akligoh was speaking at the ‘Ghana on The Go CEO’s Breakfast Meeting’ series organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

Giving a brief on the tax exemptions application process at the GIPC, the Chief Executive Officer, 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.

He said, “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.”

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.

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.

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