Pass Tax Exemptions Bill – SEND Ghana advices Parliament

A Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), SEND Ghana, has adviced parliament to as a matter of urgency pass the Tax Exemptions Bill (2021) since the long delay in the passage of the Bill was doing more harm to the nation than good in terms of revenue mobilization.

The NGO gave the advice in Accra on Thursday during its assessment of the 2022 national budget presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

According to SEND Ghana, it is estimated that Ghana loses substantial revenue, over GH¢5 billion every year through tax exemptions hence the urgent need to pass the Bill to regulate and streamline the tax regime to prevent such loses going forward.

Various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including the Tax Justice Coalition (TJC) and some individuals have constantly called on the government to take a closer look at the current tax exemptions regime to rake in more revenue.

SEND Ghana was elated to note that the 2022 budget captures that the Tax Exemptions Bill has been completed and laid before Parliament for passage, although it thinks the process was long overdue.

“We therefore would like to implore Parliament to prioritise the passage of the Tax Exemptions Bill, and subsequently monitor its implementation.”

The NGO said while it acknowledged the need to increase domestic revenue mobilisation, the government should take the expenditure rationalisation and optimisation of resources seriously to reduce the budget deficit.

“It is critical to check profligacy and mismanagement, reduce corruption, and instill fiscal discipline by enforcing commitment controls in line with the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921).”

Tax Exemptions are tax waivers given to local and foreign companies in order to attract further investments and more revenue to enable government fulfill it’s obligations to the populace.

But (CSOs) have fircely argued that these tax exemptions are depriving the nation of expected revenue mobilization to embark on accelerated developmental projects and have strongly called for the passage of the Bill into law to regulate the tax system.

The Bill was first laid in 2019 with a revised version recently sent to parliament by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta. The Bill is currently with the Finance Committee of Parliament.

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