GRA to intensify usage of excise tax stamp

By
Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA

Accra, Sept. 20, GNA – The Ghana Revenue
Authority (GRA) has announced the Authority’s intention to intensify usage of
its newly introduced excise tax stamp to regulate the production, promotion and
sales of goods in the country.

Mr Mr Kwabena Apau, Head of the Excise Unit of
the GRA said by legislative instrument, the Government will determine the date
from which manufacturers and importers are to affix the stamps on the specified
products very soon.

He said a manufacturer, importer, wholesaler,
or retailers with old stock of specified products unsold after the transitional
period shall be required to purchase the stamps for their products.

The step was announced at a stakeholder
seminar in Accra, to make the intentions of the Authority known in the
strengthening and monitoring as well as the evaluation of the quantity of
products manufactured by companies to ensure the right payment of taxes.

Mr Apau, making a presentation on the
initiative, said the Excise Tax Stamps are to be fixed on goods manufactured in
the country and delivered for home consumption as well as goods imported into
the country.

He mentioned mineral water, bottled and other
packaged water, carbonated soft drinks, malt drink, stout, beer including cider
beer, wines including sparkling wine, spirits, cigarettes and other tobacco
products as the specific products affected by the initiative. It however
excludes sachet water.

“All products in the affected categories found
without excise tax stamp affixed on them beyond the transition period or
affixed with fake, counterfeited or altered stamps shall be seized as
prescribed in Sections 124 and 125 of the Customs Act, 2015 (Act 891)”, he
said.

Mr Appau said 32.5 per cent of excise is paid
by manufacturers on products if raw materials used for production in the
beverage industry are highly foreign, however, manufacturers are entitled to
pay only 10 per cent if the raw materials used are locally produced, adding
that, the step is to encourage usage of local raw materials.

He said bottled potable water attracts excise
duty of 17.5 per cent; alcoholic beverages like whisky and brandy attracts an
excise duty of 25 per cent; whisky and brandy attract 25 per cent; wine
attracts 22.5 per cent; and cigarette and other tobacco products attract 175
per cent.

He said the reason for high tax on cigarettes
and tobacco products was to discourage production and importation of tobacco
products into the country.

He noted that taxes are paid only at the
manufacturing point and the entry point, explaining that local manufacturers
file returns on production and sales of their products by the 21st of
every month for the Authority to compute them and demand payment based on the
amount of production and sales.

The Head of the Excise Unit said considerable
revenue has been lost through illicit trade over the years and illegal
operators within Ghana smuggle tobacco, spirits, and other alcoholic beverages
into the country, stressing that, illegal operators indulge in the sales of
counterfeited products.

“Even with our tracking devices, people still
manage to offload products at some parts of the country to avoid payment of
taxes, and move empty cars to Accra. So one may think products in Kumasi or
other places are cheaper than in Accra and it is because the manufacturers
don’t pay taxes on them”.

He said the tax stamps are product specific
stamps with features including multiple overt and covert security; and the
Authority has devices to detect its authenticity.

Mr Appau said the original stamp must not fade
for at least one year under the sun; must be water fast and scuff resistant;
must not be reusable; and must be self-adhesive-permanent on even and uneven
surfaces. 

Mrs Vivian Adusei, Deputy Commissioner of
Small Taxpayer Offices and Chairperson for the Seminar in her welcoming address
said the seminar would allow the Authority to detect customs and domestic
issues of importance with its stakeholders.

She commended the Authority for organising the
seminar to control wrong doings in the manufacturing and importation of goods
into the country.

GNA

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