Auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC) has advised government to take advantage of the Tax Administrative Law as it comes into force this year to broaden the tax base.
According to the firm, government can use the law to encourage the private sector to fulfill their tax obligation to recover the 5.4 billion cedis that was captured as tax cuts in the budget.
Per the new law, business owners and individuals are required to have Tax Identification Numbers before they can acquire land and even open bank accounts, among others.
Speaking to Citi Business News at post-analysis forum of the 2017 budget, a Partner, and Tax Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, George Kwatia stated that the euphoria surrounding the tax abolishment presents a perfect opportunity for government to implement the new tax law.
“Spare parts dealers are not supposed to pay duties they are excited about it, but obviously there should be some way of dealing with this, not everybody, probably should walk to the ports and say I am a spare parts dealer I am clearing my goods and therefore I will not pay taxes,” he counseled.
He stated that the excitement among the private sector now provides a perfect opportunity for government to engage small business owners to file their taxes.
“If you want to broaden the tax base out of this excitement that the spare parts dealers have, if you tell them all of you, before you can get your duties exempted on the goods you are importing, you need the tax identification number because we want to identify you as an Abossey Okai spare parts dealer before we give it to you or you are at Kumasi Suame or any other market,” he explained.
He maintained that, “If you need to be identified through this means before you are given the exemption why wouldn’t they do so”.
Emphasizing on the need to get the tax net broadened now, Mr. Kwatia stated that it will be a prudent archive for government to plan in the future.
“Of course it may be in this regime that the spare parts are being exempted. Another government may come and probably they may not exempt it or they may impose a little bit of duty. But you have already being captured in the system as having a tax identification number, and when it comes to crunch that you may now have to pay tax in respect of something, you cannot withdraw from the system because you have already caught in the system”.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana