‘Govt unfazed by minority’s threat over 3% VAT’

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng has stated that the government is not worried about the minority’s plan to head to court over the implementation of a 3 per cent flat Value Added Tax (VAT) rate scheme.

According to him, it is surprising that the minority who had agreed to the amendment in parliament would backtrack and claim it is unlawful.

Mr Kwarteng said the minority was “at liberty to go to court” over the matter.

“This particular amendment when it went to the Finance Committee, the minority supported it on the floor. They did not vote No.

“Today it has become a law and let’s not pretend that somebody is doing something unlawful. It is perfectly lawful.

“Anybody that feels that after they have voted for it have now realised that there are elements of the amendment that is unlawful, they are at liberty to go to court to seek correction. We will not stand in their way,” he said.

The minority in Parliament have threatened to go to court to compel the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to halt the implementation of the 3 per cent VAT flat rate scheme.

According to the minority, the scheme was not consistent with existing laws governing Value Added Taxes and as such, its implementation was illegal and should be halted.

The minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson had said that the scheme violates the VAT Act 870 and could not be implemented.

He said through the GRA and Minister of Finance, the government was attempting to trick Ghanaians into thinking taxes were being scrapped, while introducing a new one “through the backdoor.”

Mr Kwarteng explained that the 3 per cent flat rate scheme was geared towards simplifying the tax system in the country.

The GRA commenced the implementation of the new flat rate scheme on July 1st, 2017.

Until now the scheme had been restricted to some categories of businesses in the retail sector but this new system means it has now has been extended to cover manufacturers and importers.

Some business associations had earlier met with the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in a bid to get the policy scrapped, a move which proved unsuccessful.

This has also led to about twenty per cent rise in the prices of goods. –citifmonline.com

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