Government told to make taxes affordable for businesses

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Dr Joseph Obeng

The trading community has asked the Government to ensure that taxes on electronic commercial activities (e-commerce) and other electronic transactions are affordable to businesses and the consuming public.

This will make more Ghanaians pay taxes willingly for rapid socioeconomic development.

Dr Joseph Obeng, President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the trading community was in support of efforts to widen the tax net through electronic means but it must be made affordable.

He said such taxes, including the recently passed Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) should be affordable and not burden the taxpayer.

“Whatever tax system that is introduced, be it e-commerce or E-Levy, we want it to be affordable so that compliance level will be high. The taxes must be affordable so that people will easily pay without complains.”

Dr Obeng said: “When this is done, there will an increase in the compliance level, which will make the government rake in more revenue for development projects that will make Ghana better for all of us.”

With the passage of the E-Levy, Dr Obeng called on the government to intensify education for people to understand the obligations and exemptions for smooth implemention.

The GUTA President said the trading community was willing to make sacrifices that would help the government to transform the economy, which had been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in economic hardship in the country.

He, however, said: “The sacrifices will not be complete unless we ensure value for money, because the wastage in the system as we all know is very wide.”

He added that: “So, government should take note of these problems and come up with policies or structures that will ensure value for money for our expenditure and the taxes we pay.”

The call for public education on the E-Levy corroborates a recommendation made from a study, which found that about 63 percent of Ghanaians were aware of the levy.

Commenting on the finding, Prof Anthony Amoah, one of the researchers said that though the number of people who were aware of the levy was relatively high, the number could not demonstrate actual knowledge about the levy.

He said there was the need for more education to be done to increase public knowledge and understanding of the levy.

 

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