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Parliament Threatens To Sanction Terkper, GRA Boss
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Mr Seth Terkper
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There are indications Parliament would invite Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance, together with Mr George Blankson, the Commissioner of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), to the House.

And the invite would be based on their decision to suspend the implementation of the 1 per cent tax on interests as captured in the Income Tax Amendment Act.

Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, a ranking member of the Finance Committee, who raised the matter on the floor of the House on Thursday sought to know if it were appropriate for the GRA to suspend the implementation of an Act passed the august House.

He said: “Mr Speaker, you will recall that we’ve passed the Income Tax Amendment Act but unfortunately, some institutions write in the papers suspending implementation of the Act. These days people are talking about Parliament that we are not serious. I think the least we ought to do is to make people know that when Parliament passes an Act, you don’t reverse it until the right thing is done.”

“I refer to the GRA publications several times in the newspapers purporting to suspend an Act of Parliament. I think the least we can do is to send notice to whoever does such a thing that if continues we will advise ourselves”, he said.

Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, the Speaker, warned that before any decision could be taken on an Act that is in the statutory books of the country, approval must first be sought from the legislature.

“If it is true that they have put a notice in the newspapers suspending an Act which is on the statutory books, then it is not proper. Until the law is amended, that is the legal position and nobody can suspend a law in the statutory books.”

The 1 per cent tax on interest earned on any investment became operational on January 1, 2016, following the passage of the Income Tax Amendment Act.

What this means is that all interest paid to an individual – interest accrued on treasury bills, fixed income deposit, interest from banks and many others will attract a 1 per cent tax.

In addition, interests paid to individual unit trusts or mutual fund holders were also to be taxed.

However, the implementation generated uproar among the citizenry, with some threatening to withdraw their savings and other investments made from the banks and other financial institutions.

The GRA subsequently issued notice in the daily newspapers suspending the implementation of the law.

Mr George Blankson
Source: GNA

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