The Government on Friday announced the suspension of payment of third and fourth quarter income taxes for commercial vehicles (Trotros) and taxis for 2021, as part of measures to reduce the cost of transportation.
Government also announced provision of 30 per cent tax rebate of income tax due companies, hotels and restaurants, education, arts and entertainment institutions as well as the travel and tours.
There is also a suspension of tax stamps on income tax payment for small businesses from second, third and fourth quarters of 2021.
These additional reliefs formed part of the government’s efforts of reducing the sufferings of the vulnerable groups and Ghanaians, whose conditions had been worsened by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Caretaker Minister of Finance, announced this during the presentation of the 2021 Budget Statement to Parliamentary on Friday.
The 2021 Budget was on the theme,” Completion, Consolidation and Continuation,” intended to rejuvenate the national economy towards the path of recovery.
He announced that there would be an extension -of waiver of interest payment on accumulated tax arrears, waiver of penalty and interest on accumulated tax arrears up to December 2020.
Mr Mensah-Bonsu said these measures would be implemented by government to reduce cash flow challenges for companies and individuals and urged the prospective beneficiaries to make arrangement with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
He noted that aside the GH¢100-billion Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES programme), otherwise known as ‘Obaatanpa’, government announced plans to scale up COVID-19 vaccination exercise, implement ‘Agenda 111’ for health sector, intensify public sanitation programme, roll out job opportunities programmes and resource the security agencies as well as continue the flagship initiatives.
The Budget was read for the first time by Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, who was given extra responsibility as Caretaker Minister of Finance.
He recounted various strategies government would implement strong micro economic fundamentals for economic sustainability, pursue robust social systems to protect lives and livelihoods, implement reforms to enhance government’s revenue mobilisation drive, and build human resource anchored on science and technology.
Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu read the Budget as a result of the absence of the Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, yet to be vetted by Parliament, and currently receiving treatment in USA over COVID-19 complications.
He also presented the 2020 Petroleum Revenue receipts in accordance with the Petroleum Revenue Law.
Some dignitaries in attendance include, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, officials of Finance Ministry, Bank of Ghana and Ghana Revenue Authority.
The Budget was presented in accordance with Articles 179 and 180 of the 1992 Constitution, which required government to present its fiscal policy for the year.