Dr Abdallah Ali Nakyea
DR. ABDALLAH Ali Nakyea, a tax analyst, has called on companies which want to enjoy government’s tax incentives to ensure they comply with the country’s tax requirements.
Speaking during an on-air series of Citi Business Festival, he said beneficiaries would be spared any tax burden if they were found to be compliant to Ghana’s tax laws.
It would be recalled that government announced some tax reliefs for businesses that supported the Covid-19 Trust Fund while also the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) reviewed dates for the filing of tax returns and their payments to pad businesses from the brunt of the novel coronavirus.
Dr Nakyea who spoke on “Compliance in Abnormal Times”, emphasised, “At the beginning of the year, you would have served the GRA your self-assessment. This has been impacted on and the law allows you to apply to the GRA to revise the self-assessment. Even if you will have to go and sit with them, there should be a written document. So, you apply to the GRA stating the grounds on which you have been constrained and why you are revising your self-assessment because you cannot meet deadlines, you will need to marshal your arguments in your applications.”
Even though taxpayers who redeem all their outstanding debts due GRA by June 30, 2020 will be granted a remission of penalties on their principal debts, Dr. Ali Nakyea has appealed to the government to amend the laws to include a relief of late payment for some category of defaulters, since there were different laws pertaining to tax defaulting.
“…So, if you are unable to meet the deadline, the best way of compliance is to apply to the GRA for extension of time to file. The difficulty here is that an extension can be granted, but the law says it does not extend for you the time of payment. And this is one area government can look at to ease the pressure off businesses. The extension of time should include a relief for late payment because in the law there is a different penalty for late filing of your returns and a different penalty for late payment of tax. So you can get an extension of the date to file your returns but that does not absolve you of the actual payment,” he said.
Government has budgeted to register total revenue and grants to the tune of GH¢67.0 billion this year but the country has already lost some GH¢9.5 billion to the effects of Covid-19 on the economy, an ultimate fiscal gap of GH¢11.4 billion.