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Tax Sanity Is Necessary – Business Leaders3 min read

Tax Sanity Is Necessary – Business Leaders<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">3</span> min read</span>


Business leaders have called on government to address the issue of multiple taxes, which they say is hampering the performance of businesses.

During the Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogues, Chief Executive Officer-Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum-Akwaboah, expressed concerns about the numerous taxes affecting businesses. The overarching concern at the dialogue was urgent need to tackle the complex tax landscape impacting negatively on businesses, particularly producers.

Mr. Twum-Akwaboah, who spoke on behalf of the business community, suggested that a tax review to address the issue of businesses having to pay multiple taxes, like VAT, which comprise the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), Ghana Education Trust Fund Levy (GETFund Levy) and the COVID -19 Health Recovery Levy (COVID-19 HRL), as they are weighing heavily on domestic manufacturers and their ability to compete with their peers from other parts of the world.

Equally important, he said, is enforcing compliance with existing tax policies and reducing revenue leakages might be the solution instead of introducing new taxes – a sentiment echoed throughout the event.

He expressed confidence that a well-structured and less burdensome tax regime will support businesses’ recovery from the ongoing economic difficulties, and ultimately enable them to contribute more to state revenue.

Stakeholders from both the public and private sectors called for a focus on enforcing existing tax policies and removing obstacles to fair trade practices. Creating a business-friendly environment, prioritising investment in local production capacity and implementing strategies for sustainable economic growth were key points discussed during the event.

The sentiments shared by stakeholders at the event are similar to findings of KPMG’s 2024 Pre-Budget Survey Report, which revealed that businesses in the country are urgently calling for a comprehensive review of tax policies, improved power supply and a focus on developing a skilled labour force.

The survey said respondents recommended a thorough reevaluation of various taxes, including the COVID-19 levy, petroleum levy, import duties and the growth and sustainability levy in the 2024 budget. Some believe that reducing tax rates or eliminating certain taxes can stimulate consumption and expenditure, ultimately enhancing overall tax revenue.

The business community stressed a need to ease the tax burden on businesses. The top-five taxes suggested for review are the E-levy, COVID-19 levy, import levies, petroleum levy and growth and sustainability levy. During first-half of the year, some taxes underperformed – highlighting the need for policy revision.

Mr. Twum-Akwaboah also raised concerns about sub-standard products entering the market and competing unfairly with locally produced goods. He questioned how to stop this practice and spur shared prosperity and economic growth. In addition, he emphasised the importance of enforcing existing business regulations to ensure fair trade practices.

The dialogue also highlighted the need to attract investments to boost local production capacity, with a focus on essential goods. Industrialisation, especially in conjunction with agriculture, was highlighted as crucial for the country’s long-term prosperity.

Mr. Twum-Akwaboah underlined the importance of prioritising bankable projects and key sectors to achieve high returns on investments.

The event, hosted by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta, served as a platform for high-level discussions and collaboration between government officials and business leaders.