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Gov’t Urged To Repeal Tax Incentive Policies   
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Ghana, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has urged government to as a matter of urgency review all tax incentive policies.
It said the Executive should also publicise the policies for stakeholders to identify loopholes in the system to be addressed.

The NGO explained that such a move would help prevent some multinational companies from taking advantage of loopholes and harmful tax incentive policy gaps to dodge payment of their cooperate income tax.

Mr Emmanuel Budu Addo, ActionAid – Ghana Head of Finance made the appeal during a two-day Upper West Regional Tax Justice sensitisation workshop in Wa.

He said there are too many laws and institutions granting tax incentives in Ghana, explaining that some of the laws have provisions that are contradictory.

He cited the Petroleum Act, which, he said contradicts the Internal Revenue Act on capital gains and called on the government to stop granting discretionary incentives.

Rather government, he said, should ensure that all incentives are grounded on policy and legislation which are approved by Parliament.

“There is the need for government to do a critical cost benefit analysis that is in the interest of the nation before granting any new incentives.

“Where incentives are granted, there should be periodic audit to check that the conditions upon which the incentives are being granted are being complied with,” he said.

Mr Addo appealed to Ghanaians to develop keen interest on issues of tax because taxation affects every citizen of the nation.

He urged civil society, the government and the media to help the citizens to understand their rights and responsibilities with regards to issues of taxation.

He said Ghana as a developing nation is bedeviled with lots of development challenges and government needs tax revenue to address those challenges.

“Government needs effective tax system to ensure effective redistribution of resources to promote good corporate and social behaviour and to discourage consumption of harmful products,” he pointed out.

Madam Queronica Quarley Quartey, ActionAid – Ghana Policy and Campaigns Manager, said helping people to understand the social functions of taxation and using tax power to achieve economic development are among key things the tax justice campaign seeks to achieve.

She said Africa needs sustainable funding for areas such as education, health, agriculture and social empowerment, which could be achieved only through effective revenue mobilisation.

“Tax justice is about equity and fairness and there should not be any discrimination between local companies and multinational companies in terms of granting of tax incentives by the government,” he stated.

Madam Quartey asked the citizenry to be concerned about tax justice and put government on its toes to be more accountable to them.

Mr George Dery, ActionAid – Ghana, Regional Programmes Officer advised the Regional Tax Justice Coalition to help to educate the public to be conscious of issues of tax and tax justice to ensure that everybody including multinational companies operating in the region do not dodge payment of taxes.
Source: GNA

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