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New taxes will not put strain on Ghanaians, says Ali-Nakyea

Ali-Nakyea

Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, director of Ali-Nakyea and Associates says the new taxes introduced by the government in the 2021 budget will not put strain on Ghanaians.

He said with proper strategies, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) should be able to achieve the new revenue target of about GHC60 billion this year.

Speaking on CNBC Africa, Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, said, “I think that it is not strenuous because last year the target was revised but they were able to exceed the revised target because of the measures that they rolled out. So I think that with the proper roll-out of their strategies they should be able to achieve the target that has been set for them [GRA].

Ali-Nakyea said the penalty waiver act will help the government a lot because “when the COVID set in the government sort to ease the tension on the tax space by waiving the penalty on late submission of returns and taxes or the nonpayment of taxes. So they were given a time frame within which if you pay the penalties would be relieved but unfortunately, interest was not included and that was one of the biggest challenges of taxpayers.

“So what this law sort to do was to re-instate or continue with the relief for penalties but has also added interest payments because under the income tax act the commissioner general has not got the power to waive interest payments, he can only waive penalties so that was the farthest he could go in helping taxpayers.”

He added, “So this time around, Parliament has assisted by coming out with a law that will now add interests to the waivers. So you have up to the end of this year to pay up any tax that is outstanding up to the end of last year then you will get this relief. So I see that as one of the biggest pluses that will help them in recovering any overdue taxes”

Ali Nakyea said the 1% health recovery levy on goods and services will have an impact on businesses but “come to think of the purpose and the use, I think that if it is going to ease any burdens on you in terms of medications, vaccines to get you to go into business then it is in good stead. But ideally, for businesses, it is going to have an impact because it is going in as a straight levy meaning it is not part of the VAT which is recoverable…”

New taxes

The government last week introduced new taxes in the 2021 Budget, including a sanitation and pollution levy, a gaming tax and a COVID-19 health levy to help shore up revenue.

The new taxes have since been greeted with mixed reactions, some arguing that it will bring untold hardship to ordinary Ghanaians.

Going cashless

Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it will begin operating a cashless system from May 2021 in a bid to enhance revenue mobilisation across the country.

A memo issued and signed by Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, the Commissioner-General of GRA, said the authority will from 1 June 2021 stop accepting personal and corporate cheques for payment of taxes and customs duties.

The statement explained that existing cheques that have already been received for the payment of duties and taxes shall continue to be presented to the banks adding that no new cheque must be received from 1 June 2021.

 “Where it becomes necessary for cheques to be issued for payment that is spread over a number of months, such cheques must be supported by bank guarantee,” the memo said.

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