New Taxes: Government must be prudent to prevent public fatigue – GUTA

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The Ghana Union of Traders Associations says as the government commences implementation of the new taxes introduced in the 2021 budget, efforts should be made to ensure the citizenry get value for money.

The government as part of efforts towards reviving the economy amidst the Covid-19- pandemic introduced some new taxes including the Energy Sector Recovery Levy.

But according to the President of GUTA, Joseph Obeng, if the public does not feel the impact of these financial obligations they may develop tax fatigue.

“When they see that there is no value for money for these taxes that they pay, then it becomes very difficult for people to voluntarily comply with the tax collections. It’s notable how much we collect in terms of these taxes, but we should be able to show how much we’ve been able to do with taxes. Is it value for money?”

“People have started questioning this. So it’s not that we’ve been able to collect so much in a year, and it was able to do just too little. It means that our money has not been used appropriately and people will not have the love to pay taxes otherwise people are very eager to do this as their national responsibility,” he added.

These new taxes are as a result of the imposition of an Energy Sector Recovery Levy of GHS 20 pesewas per litre of petrol/diesel and 18 pesewas per kg on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

In addition, the imposition of a Sanitation and Pollution Levy of GHS10 pesewas per litre of petrol and diesel respectively will contribute to the new tax.

Also, the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1068) and the Energy Sector Levy (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1064) part of the taxes introduced.

The COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act “imposes a one percent levy on the supply of goods and services made in the country, other than exempt goods or services and the import of goods and services, other than exempt imports”.

The levy also applies to the supply of goods subject to the VAT Flat Rate but is not allowable as an input tax deduction.

These taxes took effect on May 1, 2021 following the Ghana Revenue Authority’s announcement to commence implementation.

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