Tax Consultant, Dr Abdallah Ali Nakyea, has slammed the government for the continuous introduction of taxes stating that instead of widening the tax net the government is rather deepening the tax net on already overburdened taxpayers.
In his view, the new taxes will negatively affect the operations of businesses which could lead to job losses and seriously impact the economy.
“Remember if in every case you introduce a levy then very soon there will be a levy on everything including the air we breathe. Covid came, and we introduced a Covid recovery levy of 1 percent because we are prepared to help the government resolve the crisis. Then we have the financial sector stabilisation levy, and we are paying so if you are even bringing a new levy, a lot of existing levies need to be repealed,” Dr Ali Nakyea told Bernard Avle on the Citi Breakfast Show on Thursday, March 30.
Dr Nakyea added “when you cannot pass on the cost, you absorb it, that is why another segment of GUTA is saying, if you don’t listen, and you bring it on board, we are not going to absorb it. And when you cannot pass it onto the price, you pass it backwards, which means you cut down on employment, you cut down on input which means you downsize and that will hit the economy backwards because unemployment will have to increase.”
The three new taxes are currently before Parliament for consideration to help government shore up more revenue to salvage the ailing economy.
The three new taxes include Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty and Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill.
The taxes according to the government will help raise about 4 billion Ghana cedis to help close the fiscal gap and also help the government meet the requirement of the International Monetary Fund to qualify for the bailout.
Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Traders Association of Ghana (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng has called on Parliament not to pass the government’s proposed three new taxes.
Dr. Obeng said businesses may not be to thrive if Parliament passes these new taxes.
Opposing the proposed taxes he said, “we are sending a clear message that unless they [Parliament] represent themselves and that they do not represent the good people of Ghana, especially the business community, then they should go ahead with this. All that we are saying is that they should hold on.
“Let’s evaluate and see where best we can enhance revenue, rather than compound [taxes] on all of us. They [Parliament] should do the needful because it’s not going to help us. Already businesses are dying, and the government wants to ensure local productivity. How do you ensure local productivity when we have these killer taxes?”