Business News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
The Director-General of the National Lottery Authority (NLA), Osei-Ameyaw is optimistic the decision by government to grant tax waivers for lottery winners will attract more people to participate in the authority’s gaming activities.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the 2018 budget presentation announced that government has scrapped the 7.5 percent tax on the money of lottery winners, subject to parliamentary approval.
Speaking to journalists after meeting Lotto Marketing Companies, Mr. Osei Ameyaw pointed out that the move will also improve revenue generated by the authority.
He explained that government was losing revenue since the tax deterred the operators, forcing some them into banker to banker.
“Those who were afraid of paying taxes on their wins headed towards the illegal lottery business where they do not pay any withholding tax on the wins. But they are now free to come and stake with the government, which means we have opened the system to all those who were doing business undercover or ‘under the table’ to come out openly and do business with government and NLA,” he said.
He pointed out that the tax was a disincentive to the NLA as its fortunes dwindled over the years.
“The number of lottery stakers for NLA has dwindled because they don’t want to pay any taxes so by removing them, it is going to bring more people and don’t forget that when they don’t win all the revenue comes to government,” he said.
Mr. Ameyaw stated that government did a careful examination of the situation and realized Ghana will make more revenue from the decision.
“What we need to measure is the amount of revenue that we will collect when they don’t win compared to money that is going to illegal operations which doesn’t come to government.”