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Businesses worried about multiplicity of taxes

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has decried the multiplicity of taxes in the country and said the situation is creating an unfavourable climates for business

Business, it said, were already reeling under harsh economic conditions which had been worsened by increases in utility tariffs, high interest rates and depreciation of the currency.

These were contained in a communique adopted by the association after its National Council Retreat held at Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

The taxes and levies

Presenting the communiques at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the President of the AGI, Mr James Asare-Adjei, said the council examined the general performance of the economy in the past year and experienced serious concern over the fact that industry still continued to bear the brunt of a week macro-economic situation, multiplicity of taxes and high interest rates, against the backdrop of rising Bank of Ghana policy rate.

He also said the council, therefore, recommended the widening of the tax net as well as the plugging of revenue leakages resulting from under-invoicing and under-declaration of imports at the ports.

Mr Asare-Adjei  said increasing or introducing new taxes tended to overburden the already tax-compliant businesses and might compel them to adopt informal business practices.

“Furthermore, this situation is making industries relocate to neighbouring countries where the climate is better,” he said.

New rates

a new Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) that allows increases was introduced by the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA)this year.an Energy Sector Levies Act (Act 899) which imposes some levies on electricity and petroleum products was also introduced this year.

The rates of some taxes and the imposition of new ones resulted in the organisation of a press conference by members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA)last, where they expressed their dissatisfaction with the government and members of Parliament for the increases.

The association gave a two –week notice within which members would be wearing red armbands and draping red cloths at their places of business to show their displeasure with increases made by the government and the MP’s in the rates of some taxes and the imposition of new ones that were overburdening its members.

Overburdening businesses

The AGI, which also seems to support the GUTA stance on the tax regime, cautioned the government to avoid slipping in unexpected levies that add up to the cost of doing business.

Mr Asare-Adjei said the AGI, for instance, disapproved of the Energy Sector Levies introduced by the government.

To mitigate the impact of the challenges on industry, he said the association proposed that the tax net be widened and not increased for the people who already honour their tax obligations.

‘Support local businesses’

On the power situation, Mr Asare-Adjei said the association appreciated the recent stability in power supply to industry and called for a reclassification of the various electricity customer categories to help address the unfair incidents of industry subsiding residential consumers.

Touching on the influx of imports into the country, he said it was a major setback to national economic development, adding that “industries continue to shrink and Ghana risks losing its industrial base and job-creation prospects”.

He said there was, therefore, the need for the government to intervene by expediting action on the passage of the Ghana International Trade Commission Bill

“There is the need for a targeted stimulus support for specific industries under Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund and other schemes to boost local production capacity and make the economy more export-driven,” Mr Asare-Adjei said

This article is from the Daily Graphic, Ghana: See more 


Advocating liberty and free enterprise can yield benefits in countless ways, many of them unplanned and unforeseen. The Doing Business in Ghana Project seeks to create a freer environment for businesses to operate, boost economic performance, alleviate poverty in Ghana and  many more: See more 

The views expressed in third-party publications are those of their respective authors.


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