PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on Wednesday released proposals for consideration by government in formulating the 2011 budget to ensure a transformed approach by state institutions in dealing with concerns of the private sector.
Top among the proposals are quick payment of refunds of taxes paid in excess by companies to state revenue collection agencies and practical guidance regarding application of provisions in various petroleum agreements to ensure uniformity in the tax rate.
The proposals, released at a breakfast meeting dubbed; “2011 Pre-Budget Forum” in Accra, are expectations and views submitted to the PwC by business entities.
The forum, attended by stakeholders in the private sector, including business analysts, is an annual event by the PwC, which precedes national forums to seek views of interest groups when formulating the budget.
Mr George Kwatia, Partner at PwC, who presented the proposals, said it was the hope of businesses that government struck out unnecessary elements in the tax structure to avoid instances of refunds which took a long time to be paid.
Cases of tax refunds occur when companies pay their taxes before production based on projection of profit after production, which sometimes did not materialise.
Mr Kwatia mentioned standardization of practices such as issuance and application of practice notes and guidance across various agencies of government to allow the same basis of understanding, interpretation and practice of tax laws.
He explained that this would address instances where a different state agency gave a different interpretation and meaning to similar piece of legislation that both of them administered in the course of their operations.
Mr Kwatia said businesses also proposed that upon request or application, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) should, in good time, state its position on contentious matters regarding tax administration.
Other proposals include computerization of Tax Credit Certificate issuance process, consultation prior to passing new tax legislations, consolidation of tax laws into one revenue act and streamlining of Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported services among others.
In reaction, Mr Seth Terkpey, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said government’s objective was to improve the business environment through adoption of measures that would enhance the system.
He gave the assurance that with the establishment of the GRA, concerns bordering on tax administration would be greatly improved.