Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister of Ghana has stated that the current taxes introduced by the government is not aimed at overburdening the business community in the country as purported by some people.
According to him, majority of Ghanaians are not paying their taxes as the should if compared to their monthly wages.
Speaking on the sideline of the IMF spring meeting in Washington DC which was monitored by 1Family Radio, the minister asserted that currently, the country’s GDP ratio is at 13% instead of 20% which means that one third of the taxes are not being paid.
He narrated how an undisclosed company was paying a tax of 40,000 cedis in VAT out of a total monthly income of 342,000 cedis but after the e-VAT was introduced, the company’s monthly sales were 158 million and was paying a tax of 19.8 million.
The minister continued that most of these people who are complaining that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is over-auditing them are actually not doing what is expected of them.
Ofori-Atta furthered that the introduction of these taxes was necessitated by the need to boost the revenue mobilization in the country and not to burden Ghanaians. He however noted that these taxes will be cancelled in the near future should the government restore macroeconomic stability.
“Once we get all the needed taxes in place and we get to where we want to be, just like we cancelled some taxes in 2017, we will do same to these ones. When we begin to build up, some taxes wouldn’t be necessary but for now, we need the revenue to be able to move in that direction,’’ he explained.
“Once our GDP ratio moves towards 18 to 20%, these taxes will be eased. We are always looking for ways to make the business community pay as little taxes as possible to ensure that the level of employment increases but there are times we need to generate some taxes to fund the budget,’’ Ken said.