Government to implement revenue measures in 2018

Accra, Government will implement various revenue enhancing measures to improve domestic resource mobilisation.

Some of the measures will be to create fiscal space by reducing budget rigidities, broaden the tax base to rope in more tax payers, and implement the National Identification Scheme.

Others are the National Digital Addressing System, Tax Identification Number System, and the Presumptive Tax System to help significantly contribute to the broadening of the tax base.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, was presenting the 2018 Budget Statement to Parliament on Wednesday on the theme: Putting Ghana Back to work.

He said government would improve tax compliance through the review of suspense regimes, special audits, use of fiscal electronic devices, and implementation of the excise tax stamps and the implementation of common reporting standards for exchange of information, among others.

He said it would also strengthen the design and administration of property taxes as well as rationalize taxation of the mining sector.

We intend to preserve our commitment to secure a level-playing field for investors, while tackling discretionary application of taxes that are not justified on economic terms, he added.

The Minister said government would examine the design of the VAT system, and address any significant policy shortcomings that might be identified.

Also, overhaul the exemptions system to curtail large revenue losses, which occur due to special regimes, reduced tax rates, and other exemptions that does not serve social or economic purposes and are exploited by insiders.

He said these policy changes required careful study and preparations and we plan to come back to Parliament in the course of 2018 to make additional proposals to make the requisite proposals for enactment of the appropriate laws to pave way for implementation.

On tax compliance measures, Mr Ofori-Atta said government’s strategy to shift the focus of economic policy from taxation to production must necessarily come with greater need to broaden the tax base and ensure compliance.

He said that was the only way to spread the national tax burden evenly across the population and lessen the burden on compliant tax payers.

He said accordingly, in 2018, the following tax compliance measures would be applied with greater urgency, like the reform of the Customs Suspense and Transit Regimes, which permits importers to suspend payment of import duties because the imports are to be kept in bonded warehouses.

He said the transit regime permits the clearing of transit goods without payment of duty and modalities would be developed to ensure that transit importers pay the duties on imports in Ghana, which will be transferred to the designated destination.

In the area on improving property tax collection, he said the Constitution enjoins MMDAs to mobilise revenue for provision of services and a major source of revenue was property tax, collection of which was low due to insufficient valuation capacity and the high cost of valuation.

Source: Ghana News Agency