Tax coalition urges scrapping of tax incentives for foreign companies

By Dennis Peprah, GNA

Kwatire, (B/A), Oct.
31, GNA – Government has been urged to amend sections of the Internal Revenue
Act 2000 that gives tax incentives to multi-national companies in the country.

Section of the Act 592
provides tax incentives and holidays to some companies listed on the Ghana
Stock Exchange.

 But, Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu, the Chairman of
the Brong-Ahafo Regional Chapter of the Tax Justice Coalition, said the
exemptions for the companies had lost its significance, hence, the need for the

Speaking at a
community forum on tax campaign held at Kwatire in the Sunyani West District on
Monday, Mr Ahenu said government could minimize international borrowing and
push her developing “Ghana beyond aid” agenda, if the tax exemptions for the
multi-national companies were scrapped.

The forum was
organized by the Coalition, a group made up of civil society organizations and
works to promote tax education on the need for people to pay their taxes, in
collaboration with Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), anti-corruption and media
advocacy NGO with support from AAG.

It was attended by
petty traders, traditional authorities, Assembly members, artisanal workers and
small scale business entrepreneurs.

Similar fora would be
held at Odumase in Sunyani West, Techire, Adrobaa, Tanoso and Afrisipakrom in
Tano North and Abesim in Sunyani Municipalities.

According to Mr Ahenu,
who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF, the country loses
$2.7 billion dollars to tax evasion and incentives annually, a research
conducted by AAG.

The research, which
was conducted in 2016, further revealed that Ghana in 2014 alone lost $1.2
billion dollars through corporate tax incentives.

Mr Ahenu said
developing countries lose over $150 billion annually from a form of tax
incentive- corporate income tax exemptions, or nearly $3 billion every week.

He explained that the
government needed enough resources to move children from studying under trees
and solve the national infrastructure challenges, and this could be achieved if
tax holidays were scrapped to enable the nation to widen her tax and revenue

Mr Edward Ayabilah, a
tax educator and member of the coalition, noted that the country’s Foreign
Direct Investment (FDI), had increased to over nine percent, hence, the need
for the multi-national companies to pay tax to propel the country into middle
income bracket.

He advised citizens
and tax payers to pay their taxes for the various Assemblies to generate the
required resources needed for development.

Nana Kwame Afram
Denkyira, Programmes Officer of the AAG, underscored the need to engage policy
makers to ensure fairness and transparency in tax collections in the country.

“It is very necessary
to generate public support to help increase momentum on campaign against tax
injustice”, he added.


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