The Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance has held a pre-budget forum to collect input from various stakeholders on the implementation of tax measures and other issues about the economy to inform decision-making.
Organized with the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the forum brought together representatives from tax firms, industry associations, development partners, and consultants, among others.
The goal was to monitor the tax policies and determine whether or not the aim had been achieved by assessing the revenue impact and the fiscal impact on the economy.
Mr Daniel Nuer, Head of the Tax Policy Unit, said the main essence of the forum was to get concerns and suggestions from the stakeholders on what they think about the tax measures to feed into decision-making.
He said some of the issues raised were already under discussion, including efforts to improve on the simplified system for small tax payers’ to meet their obligations.
“For tax administrations there were few challenges that we are looking at. We have very good suggestions as everyone agrees that the informal sector is not well taxed. We want all citizens to be conscious of their obligations and to pay the little they can to boost the economy,” Mr Nuer said.
He said some of the concerns of stakeholders, especially on transfer pricing, stemmed from the misunderstanding of how the law operated.
However, he said, Government was looking at the impact of every policy, adding that, it is the impact that would determine which policy to implement going forward and to ensure that unintended policies are taken care of.
On companies printing their own Withholding Certificates, Mr Nuer said while the law actually provided the opportunity for them to do so, there had been few implementing challenges, especially on the side of monitoring to ensure that the taxes withheld are paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority.
He appealed to individuals and businesses to honour their tax obligations to enable the government to raise adequate funds to support and sustain the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
Mr Daniel Nuer said the inputs and contributions of the stakeholders would be considered during the preparation of the budget statement.
Stakeholders present called for intensive tax education to encourage voluntary compliance.
Some manufacturing companies expressed concern about the import duty on raw materials, which they said was making them uncompetitive compared to traders who import finished products.