Government releases GH¢54 million for payment of tax refunds

Mr. Akligoh

Mr. Akligoh

The government has released a total of GH¢54 million to be paid as refunds to businesses exempted from paying taxes, Sampson Akligoh, Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance has disclosed.

The move, according to him, was in line with the government’s review of the tax exemptions initiative, which onomic  midictates that importers pay the tax amount upfront and make claims for a refund later.

“The reviewed tax policy notes that importers are expected to pay the exemption amounts upfront and make claim for refunds later on application. Exemptions may be granted in exceptional cases,” he added.

Speaking at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) CEOs’ breakfast series in Accra on the theme “Ghana on the go”, Mr Akligoh said the exemptions were to encourage reinvestment by businesses for expansion and create employment opportunities.

He explained that the government was presently recording losses of about GH¢1.5 billion every year due to businesses and importers abusing the system.

On why government was persistent on providing tax reliefs despite the huge losses as a result of the abuse, the economic advisor said the motive to was create the enabling environment for businesses to be able to support government’s industrial transformation agenda.

He said the Ministry was putting in place structures to prevent unscrupulous individuals and businesses from taking advantage of the system to make abnormal gains.

Mr Yoofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer, GIPC said the government was working to refund the exemption claims within a 14-day period to ensure that they were able to refinance other parts of the businesses’ operations.

He reiterated that the new directive, although frustrating to some businesses, was to check significant abuses resulting in increases in government’s revenue losses.

“We really understand the complaints coming from the businesses about the upfront payment of exemptions. But the new approach is to help in resolving the loss of high revenues due to abuse of the system. Last year, government budgeted about GH¢800 million as exemptions but realised later that it had built up to GH¢2.4 billion. We must not allow this to happen again,” he stressed.

By Claude Nyarko Adams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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