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General News of Sunday, 3 April 2016


Tax negotiations: Govt & businesses fail to reach agreement

The concerns raised by the Joint Private Sector Business Consultative forum over high taxes may take a while longer to be addressed.

This follows the inability of the committee set up to look into the issues and submit a report to the Finance Ministry, to meet the March ending deadline.

The group’s last meeting with government led to the creation of a committee to carefully consider the issues raised by the business associations to facilitate an amicable solution to them.

The Joint Consultative Forum is seeking a withdrawal of the excise tax stamp policy; scrapping off the import tax duty as well as a reversal of the 17.5% VAT on business operations to 3 percent.

An Executive Member of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah, however tells Citi Business News he is optimistic of reconvening a meeting next week to continue with its work.

“Unfortunately not much has been achieved because last week, we met and we looked at the CET and we realized that there were a lot of things that we had to look at especially the tariffs that had been increased and the various commodities. We were supposed to meet on Wednesday but had to postpone it to Thursday and further postponed the meeting,

“But like we made mention of, it is important that we look at them quickly because our members are still crying at the ports because of the high tariffs. Therefore we are hoping that come tomorrow or latest by Monday we should know the next meeting date which should be next week.” Benjamin Yeboah explained.

Meanwhile a meeting with the Ghana Revenue Authority on Frday, over the continuous payment of the 3 percent VAT by the businesses, ended with a decision by the GRA to continue accepting the payment of the 3 percent until such a time that both parties reach an agreement over an approved VAT rate.