Small-scale businesses appeal for tax holiday

Participants at a Tax Education Seminar have called on the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to grant tax holidays to small-scale businesses which are operating on bank loans.

This, they said would enable them to service the loans half way before they honour their tax obligations and promote rather than kill their businesses.

The participants made the call on Thursday at the day’s seminar in Cape Coast organised by the GRA on the theme: “Integration of revenue agencies: a one stop service for taxpayers.”

The seminar, which was attended by various business organisations in the Central Region, aimed at educating the participants on the activities of the GRA and the Domestic Tax Revenue Division (DTRD).

The participants called on the GRA to intensify its public education on the Authority’s activities.

Mr Roger Kumah, Acting Regional Director of DTRD debunked the argument that payment of taxes was responsible for the collapse of businesses in the country, saying the trend should be blamed rather on improper management.

He said a business could only enjoy tax holydays if it was able to come out with genuine financial statements.

Mr Kumah said no tax collector would harass a business for taxes if it has not made an income.

He said the introduction of DTRD has not relieved stakeholders and taxpayers of their civic responsibility of paying tax.

Mr Kumah said the new reform was to ensure equity, fairness, simplicity, convenience and transparency in tax administration.

The Acting Regional Director said the DTRD would undertake the registration and re-registration of all taxpayers to improve on their data and widen the tax network.

He said those who would be registered under the new tax law would be issued with a new Tax Identification Number and a certificate, which shall be used and recognised for all tax purposes and business transactions.

Mr Kumah said filing of tax returns would be enforced, stressing that in the old system most taxpayers especially those in the informal sector flouted it.

Mrs Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Regional Minister, in a speech read on her behalf underscored the importance of taxpaying.

She said the introduction of the DTRD has made tax administration easier since taxpayers have the opportunity to transact all tax businesses under one roof.

Ms Annie Anipa Assistant Commissioner, Communication and Public Affairs said the GRA would be linked to the Registrar-General’s Department electronically  to ensure that the GRA has access to the database of the Department to access the details of registered businesses for easy tracking for tax purposes.

She said undertaking reforms in revenue administration and improving revenue mobilisation simultaneously was a challenge.

Source: GNA

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