Parliament needs to take a decision on Tax Exemptions Bill – Tax expert

A Tax Expert and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Abeiku Gyan-Quansah, has called on Parliament to take a decision on the Tax Exemptions Bill, which was brought before the house last year.

Mr. Gyan-Quansah, speaking at a forum organized in Accra by Graphic Business and Stanbic Bank, said there is a lack of urgency in the way the exemption bill has been treated despite concerns that the country loses massive revenue.

Last year, as part of moves to streamline the tax exemptions regime, a bill was taken to Parliament. But after nearly a year without being passed, Abeiku Gyan-Quansah, a Partner at Pwc and also a tax expert, is questioning the urgency in getting the tax bill passed.

“The President himself identified tax exemptions as one of his headaches. I refer specifically to his speech at the 2019 state of the nation address. Parliament requested the public to give a response in March-April last year and we are still having this conversation in February 2020.”ADVERTISEMENT

“It is either the exemptions bill is passed or withdrawn.  So that as a people, we are clear in our minds as to whether we want to do with this issue. The deadline that was recorded in the IMF’s Article IV consultation report was in June 2018. So, if we are still having a conversation about exemption around this time, I don’t get it,” he said.

Data available shows that between 2010 and 2018, the total amount of tax exemptions granted by the Ghanaian government is in excess of GHS 4.6 billion.

This high tax exemptions rate has been identified as one of the contributing factors to the poor domestic revenue collection.

He argued that with the absence of literature which is conclusive on whether tax exemptions are successful in luring investments, he said the country must be firm and decide on whether it wants to continue granting exemptions to businesses.

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