The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has called for the removal of the Covid-19 Levy and the Special Import Levy in the 2024 budget.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng explained that when the cost of doing business is low, productivity will increase and the government will be able to collect more of its desired revenue.
“We are talking about the 1.0% COVID-19 levy to be removed. We also talk about the special import levy of 2% that has been imposed on us since the previous administration. We also are talking about the VAT [Value Added Tax], the complex nature of VAT,” he said.
The Covid-19 Health Recovery Levy was introduced by the government in 2021 as a stand-alone levy applied to the gross value of taxable supplies of goods and services provided under the Standard Rate and VAT Flat Rate Schemes.
However, after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared an end to Covid-19 as a public health emergency, calls have been made to the government to stop the one per cent tax.
The Finance Ministry will be presenting the 2024 budget to Parliament in November 2023. Ahead of the presentation, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has been engaged by interest groups including GUTA.
According to the Finance Minister, a number of these groups have expressed concerns about the high rates of taxes in the country, adding that their concerns will be considered before the presentation.
“Over this period, we’ve met with AGI, GUTA, Chamber of Commerce, all of that to take in the views and predominantly it is a multiplicity of taxes that they have raised as a major concern that we have to look at. So looking at the taxes, looking at access to capital, and the price of capital, I think they will be key issues to address for the private sector,” he assured.
GUTA says despite the assurances received from the Finance Ministry that some taxes will go, the COVID-19 Levy and the special import levy in particular must go.