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Business News of Tuesday, 27 July 2021


Regulatory environment tough for businesses - GNCCI

SMEs contributes about 70 percent of Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) SMEs contributes about 70 percent of Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The president of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Clement Osei Amoako, says the chamber’s assessment of the business performance of 3,000 companies in the country shows that the regulatory environment—taxes, interest rates, etc.—does not engender business growth and value.

In the chamber’s recent engagement with the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Amoako also bemoaned the requirement for businesses to pay 30 percent of a tax assessment during a tax audit before a taxpayer can make any objection to the assessment.

He said interactions with tax auditors show that in some cases, the assessment contains plain errors, yet taxpayers are asked to pay the 30 percent.

This creates a lot of stress for taxpayers, as they end up paying taxes on assessments that they are actually not liable for, he said, adding that “these monies could have been used to support the working capital of the taxpayer.”

Moreover, he lamented, after the payment, there are delays in the refund application process.

“The tax laws allow taxpayers an entitlement over their excess tax payments, and this is by way of refunds. Nonetheless, the process of the refund is cumbersome. There is no particular office of the GRA known to taxpayers that handles the refund applications,” he said.

According to him, taxpayers have to follow up on these refunds several times, and in most cases, they have to give up, which results in loss of working capital in addition to the stress and frustration.

The GNCCI boss said the chamber is committed to serving as the link between the private sector and government at the various levels while offering its members a myriad of business support services.

He noted that the history of the growth and development of the private sector in Ghana is replete with notable contributions by the GNCCI.

In this regard, he said the chamber recognises and appreciates the longstanding relations with the GRA, citing, for instance, a collaboration in the early 2000s where the chamber’s advocacy saw a marked reduction in the corporate tax rate of 32.5 percent to 25 percent after much engagement with the GRA and other stakeholders