Sunday, 17 February 2019

Only 200,000 informal sector businesses pay tax out of expected 4.2mn businesses


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Adnan Adams Mohammed

The Ghana Revenue Authority has disclosed that, only 200,000 out of the expected 4,200,000 informal sector businesses in the country pay taxes.

The 4,200,000 expected informal tax payers represent 70 percent of the 6 million expected tax payers in the country.

However, of the expected 6 million taxpayers, only 1.5 million paid their taxes with 200,000 coming from the informal sector.

Although the informal sector constitutes 70 percent of business sector, only two percent honour their tax obligations to the state, Chief Revenue Officer of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Richard Hakeem Quainoo has said.

This is greatly affecting tax revenue collection which in total affects developments of the country.

Mr Quainoo has therefore urged businesses operating in the informal sector to register for their Tax Identification Number (TIN) because without that, they could not transact business with the Registrar General’s Department, Passport Office, the courts, among other institutions.

The Chief Revenue Officer stated that the government has given temporary concessions to individuals who would venture into agriculture to encourage the youth into it and to provide job opportunities.

Individuals who engaged in family tree crops get a 10 year-tax holiday, so as cattle rearers, while those in cash crops get 5 years.

Meanwhile, the GRA is intensifying moves to have its tax stamp directive respected. The GRA task force went to town last week inspecting cigarettes and other tobacco products from sellers to ascertain if they had the excise tax stamps affixed to them.

Head of the GRA taskforce, Kwabena Apau Anto remarked the taskforce was delighted to see nearly all the cigarettes have the affixed excise stamp; he however expressed regret that other products did not bear it.

Mr. Anto said this week the team will be inspecting carbonated drinks, wine, malt beverages and others stressing companies or businesses found to be importing products into the country without the excise stamps and local companies sending products to the market without the stamps will be visited and sanctioned.

He said the entry points for such non-declared goods will be tracked as well.

The exercise is to ensure product manufacturers comply with the Excise Tax Stamp policy which is to be affixed on all excisable products.

In September 2018 , Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Kofi Nti announced his outfit will commence a nationwide full enforcement and compliance exercise on the excise tax stamp after it launched the Tax Stamp Policy, which originates from the Excise Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873).

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