Tax Amnesty opportunity to meet obligations – Expert
A tax Leader with PwC Ghana, Mr George Kwatia, says the government’s broad tax amnesty provides an opportunity for individuals and businesses to regularise and meet their tax obligations to the state.
He said under the amnesty, government was seeking to meet its objective of broadening the tax net by waiving penalties and interests on tax defaults in order to get many more people to pay their taxes to help develop the country.
Mr Kwatia, was speaking at a tax session aimed at providing top business executives with insightful analysis on taxes and their impact on business decision-making.
The seminar dubbed: “Looking into 2018-Strategic tax and reporting issues for C-suite officers and board members,” was organised under the auspices of the PwC Business School to provide an overview of the current tax environment and key regulations that may impact businesses and inform business leaders and managers on how to proceed.
Mr Kwatia said it was important for tax defaulters to take advantage of the opportunity being offered by government to file their returns and pay outstanding taxes before the closure of Ghana Revenue Authority audit and enforcement to enable them get relief from penalties and interest up to 2017.
He urged businesses to re-assess their compliance status through an independent tax health check for years before 2018 and make application for amnesty by 31 August 2018 as well as make payment for principal taxes if required.
The Government in December would introduce the amnesty to exempt taxpayers, who register and file returns within the targeted period from paying penalties and interests for late submission or non-submission of returns as well as non-payment of taxes.
“It is necessary to keep proper books of records and ensure compliance with tax laws going forward,” he said.
Touching on the tax holiday for young entrepreneurs aimed at encouraging young people to undertake business ventures, Mr Akwatia called for a re-look at the law for some adjustments to be made to reflect a certain percentage of ownership of a business.
He said instead of targeting the incentive at an individual it would be good to broaden it to include businesses in which the young entrepreneurs have stakes, saying the current stance of the incentive would discourage partnerships, especially when the partner is over 35 years old.
“The incentive doesn’t target a company but targets the individual so the best you can achieve is that it would be discouraging individuals to team up with if they are not as young as they are then their partners would also not qualify for those incentives,” Mr Kwatia said.
Mr Vish Ashiagbor, Country Senior Partner, said in an environment, where government seeks to increase revenue through compliance, it is important for all to have a good indication of the key regulations that might affect business operations.
He said the PwC Business School prides itself on offering practical and experience based approaches as opposed to academic and urged the business leaders to ensure their staff benefit from the courses run by the school.
Mr George Arhin, Assurance Partner and Business School Leader, said the school has the expertise to help businesses keep up with the changing trends affecting their operations.