Ghana government to abolish tax on lotteries

The government has announced that it will continue the ongoing tax reform of the lotteries industry to abolish tax on lotto agents as part of tax policies in the 2018 budget.  

Dr. Edward Larbi-Siaw, Head of Tax Policy Unit at the Ministry of Finance MOF, announced this at a Post Budget Dissemination Seminar orgainsed by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in Accra, on Tuesday.

He explained that the 7.5 per cent income tax on the commission of lotto agents would be abolished and the tax on lotto winnings removed.

He noted that the VAT on lotto will also be removed.

This follows the passage of the Income Tax Act introduced by the government, which took effect from January 1, 2016.

Per the Act, winners of lotteries, who make about GH¢2,592 and above, will pay 5 per cent tax but this will come as a relief to lottery winners.

Dr. Larbi-Siaw said the 2018 budget did not introduce new taxes but rather a reduction in electricity tariffs and other incentives to ensure productivity in all sectors of the economy.

He noted that government, through the MOF and its stakeholders, will implement many tax policies to stimulate investment and to shape the economic behaviour.

“The government will introduce a Voluntary Disclosure Procedures (VDP) in the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) to waive  penalty on voluntary disclosures and payment of unreported and understated taxes by taxpayers within a period agreed with the  Commissioner- General of GRA,” he said.

He added that there will be a comprehensive review of pay systems to attract and retain skilled personnel to the public saying “government will accelerate the full roll out of the Human Resource Management Information system (HRMIS) to cover MDAs, MMDAs and Subvented institutions by the end of June 2018.”

Dr Larbi-Siaw said the government would review the current income tax thresholds by pegging the tax-free threshold to the current minimum wage in an effort to protect low income earners and ensure fairness in the income tax administration.

Besides, there is a grant tax incentive for Young Entrepreneurs of age 35 years and below, who start their own businesses holidays but based on the number of persons employed.

Dr Larbi-Siaw noted that the abolishing of the taxes and review of existing ones was an opportunity for stakeholders to help the government broaden the tax base and mobilise the necessary resources to build a better society.

Source: GNA

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