General News of Thursday, 1 November 2018
The Technical Adviser to the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Akwesi Yankyera has clarified that the tax stamp policy being implemented by the authority is not an additional tax.
He said, the tax stamp is to help government monitor and close all loopholes in the tax net and address revenue mobilization challenges.
“Goods come in from all the neighboring countries surrounding us, therefore, there is a lot of smuggling and that poses challenges to revenue mobilization and also to our manufacturers as well as to the traders,” he said.
Mr. Yankyera added that, the increasing rate of smuggling of high duty goods at Ghana’s ports requires stringent measures to curb it disclosing that there are manufacturers in Ghana who do not pay tax.
According to him, “We have illegal operators smuggling goods in the country and in addition they bring goods which are substandard, they are counterfeited goods, therefore we need to find a way to curb that trend.”
He further explained that the GRA introduced the tax stamps to tackle the issue of tax evasion by manufacturers and traders as “the stamps has digital features embedded in them and so it cannot be counterfeited”.
GRA’s tax stamp comes in two forms, the income tax stamps and the excise tax stamps which every manufacturer is required to affix on all respective goods.
Acquisition of the tax stamp
The Tax stamp can be acquired at major entry points at the ports or can be sent to the manufacturer directly to be affixed on the goods before they are exported.
“You can apply for it, we will come and inspect your premises and then we will ask you if you have affixing equipment and if you satisfy us then the Commissioner- General will give approval” adding that “there has been instances where some importers try to out-smart the system, therefore we will count on all of you to enforce the stamp tax policy,” The Technical Adviser to the GRA Commissioner-General noted.
Mr. Yankyera said, government in the interim is bearing the cost of the stamps as the policy is still in the trying stage.
He was speaking at the 4th CEO’s Breakfast Meeting in Accra on the theme, “Implementation of the tax stamp: perspectives, benefits and experience”.
The Tax Stamp Policy, which emanates from the Excise Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873), was launched in October last year.
Tax Stamps are small stickers with security features supplied by government to some manufacturers and importers to be affixed to their products before they are released onto the Ghanaian market.