General News of Thursday, 12 June 2014
Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., has raised red flags over the recent 32 fee based non-core banking taxable charges, effective July 1 this year.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced a list of services that fall under the 17.5 percent Valued Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).
The amendment of the VAT law in November last year expanded the scope of the tax and raised it from 15 % to 17.5%.
Speaking on Peace FM's Kokrokoo, Kwesi Pratt opined that tax increments have over the years become a disturbing trend in the nation.
According to him, it appears government's only solution to the financial crisis confronting the nation’s economy is to impose taxes on ordinary Ghanaians.
He wondered why the GRA is not forcing tax evaders in the country to pay up their taxes.
“I don’t understand why anytime there’s hardship, we increase tax. VAT skyrocketing from 12.5 percent, then to 15 %; then it keeps going up, and now it has reached 17.5 %. When will we have enough of this VAT?” he quizzed.
The senior journalist questioned the rationale behind the new charges announced by the GRA.
Meanwhile, Hon. Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance has allayed the fears of Ghanaians, assuring them that the new tax will not have any adverse effects on their banking transactions.
Speaking in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi on "Kokrokoo," Hon. Ato Forson explained that the banks that fall under the 17.5% VAT and NHIL are only corporate; hence the deductions will not directly affect the customers.
“I don’t think it is something that we should be too much worried about…," he said.