The Ministry of Finance has absolved itself from blame in delays associated with reclaims for the 17.5 percent VAT by importers and manufacturers.
Some manufacturers and importers have complained about delays in reclaiming the funds after it was reduced from 17.5 percent to 3 percent flat rate.
The ministry in a directive asked all beneficiaries to pay the 17.5 percent and later file for a refund which in most cases is granted within 21 days.
Speaking to Citi Business News on the issue, the Director of Revenue, Policy Division at the Ministry of Finance Mr. Anthony Dzadzra maintained that most of the people complaining are third party operators who were taking advantage of the old system.
“So far, one of the things that have come out in the exemption exercise is that the people we call third-party beneficiaries, we have realized that they are not able to do it again. We are talking about people, who clear goods on behalf of the beneficiaries, so they are not the beneficiaries, but they have letters on behalf of the beneficiaries and what they do is that when they are importing for the beneficiaries then they add theirs,” he explained.
He pointed out that because the system is automated it captures the names and details of the beneficiaries, neglecting the activities of third-party operators.
“Now because in the new system, you have to pay before you come for the refund and a third party person may have been adding their goods on the blind side of the beneficiary it is difficult for the third party people to come for the refund,” he said.
He observed that most of the third party importers are the people complaining about delays since the new system does not recognize their activities.
Lauding the new system as being excellent, Mr. Dzadzra was of the opinion that it blocked revenue leakages and captured the value of imports.
“We have cases where people have paid for exemption but they cannot justify why they deserve the exemption so the money is locked in the coffers because they don’t have any letter that is backing them to come for the refund,” he said.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana