No new taxes in 2022 budget, ensure tax efficiency – ISSER tells government

Professor Peter Quartey

Professor Peter Quartey, the Director of the Institute of Social, Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER), has cautioned government against the introduction of new taxes in the 2022 budget.

He said asking the same people to pay multiple taxes over and over could lead to fatigue and tax evasion and advised government to ensure tax efficiency.

Prof Quartey said this ahead of the presentation of the 2022 budget during the launch of the State of the Ghanaian Economy Report (SGER) 2020 and Review of 2021 Third Quarter Economic Performance.

ISSER in collaboration with the United Nations Development Plan also launched two publications on the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ghana 2020-2021 and the COVID-19 Business Tracker Survey in Ghana.

Prof Quartey said critical assessment of taxes was needed to ascertain whether they were efficient means of raising revenue rather than a “nuisance” tax that stifled private businesses.

He said government had to review the tax regime constantly and expand the base to include the informal sector through digitalisation and other means, calling for the sustenance of the tax administration structures.

“Some taxes introduced by government last year needed to be reviewed because the COVID-19 Health Levy and the Financial Sector Clean-up Levy seem to be performing better than the others whereas the sanitation Levy and others are not bringing in any results,” he noted.

The Economist said there could be some changes in the 3rd quarter in their (sanitation levy and others) performance otherwise, a review of the levies might be useful.

He observed that the new tax measures introduced in the 2021 budget yielded GH¢249.7 million in revenue for the first half of 2021 and fell below its programmed target of GH¢358.1 million.

Mr Kwamina Asomaning, Chief Executive, Stanbic Bank, said tax exemptions needed to be given another look and called on government to introduce efficiency in revenue collection to grow the local economy.

The Chief Executive said while there were many banks in the country, there were not many avenues for entrepreneurs to go for either equity or other forms of patient capital, saying, “So, a lot of pressure is being put on a few banks to take up the void created by the absence of these forms of financing.”

Source: GNA

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