Employers advocate job creation tax credit

The prevailing tax regime poses a significant stumbling block to employers and businesses’ ability to generate employment opportunities, President of the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA), Dan Acheampong, has lamented; advocating the introduction of a job creation tax credit (JCTC) for businesses that consistently maintain or increase their workforces above a certain threshold.

With the current difficult economic environment already impacting negatively on employers’ capacity to maintain existing workforces, he said the introduction of new taxes earlier this year, coupled with existing ones, has added an extra burden to businesses – making it difficult for them to achieve growth and generate job opportunities.

Mr. Acheampong was speaking at GEA’s 63rd annual general meeting themed Tax compliance and cooperation in a challenging economy; however, he suggested innovative tax policies such as a JCTC to stimulate business expansion and employment creation.

“This proactive approach will not only help enterprises to thrive but also propel economic development and higher tax revenues,” he said.

Meanwhile, touching on the closure of some enterprises by officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) due to tax irregularities, Mr. Acheampong – who’s also Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Volta Aluminum Company Limited said: “This approach does not aid business progress and sustainability, since in the business community each minute lost without operation is revenue lost to the enterprise and government”.

Streamlining tax filing

Mr. Acheampong urged the Ghana Revenue Authority to continuously work toward eliminating complexities in tax regulations, and create a conducive environment for compliance.

More specifically, he recommended that the Authority ensures tax regulations and requirements are clear, easily accessible and transparent; noting that ambiguities in tax laws can lead to unintentional non-compliance.

“Simplifying complex regulations and providing guidance will therefore help businesses to understand their obligations more effectively,” he stated.

He also called on the GRA to further streamline tax filing and reporting processes to make them less cumbersome for businesses, including the numerous Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). This, he added, could involve implementing and improving user-friendly online platforms, pre-filling certain information and automating calculations where possible.

“The GRA should prioritise taxpayer education and awareness campaigns at the central and district levels, which will help all programmes. Workshops and information categories of businesses responsibilities and deadlines are needed to ensure compliance and effective comprehension of their tax facilitation. We also encourage the Authority to regularly review and update tax compliance strategies based on feedback from businesses and changes in the economic landscape. Adaptability is key to maintaining an effective compliance framework,” he stated.

Commenting on the calls made by GEA, Dominic Naab – speaking on behalf of the Commissioner-General, GRA, Rev. Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah – said the Authority welcomes “invaluable feedback to the Tax Authority so that we can continuously improve on our service delivery.

“We need to obtain feedback from both individuals and businesses on the steps we have taken to improve tax compliance, so as to make changes that will meet the needs of taxpayers,” he said.

Mr. Naab, who’s a technical advisor to the Commissioner-General, further encouraged customers to use all available channels in the dispute resolution chain to ensure the right taxes are paid.

Explaining further, he said: “There are several tax resolution channels available to taxpayers when they perceive that we are not treating them with the fairness they deserve. Channels available include writing to the Commissioner-General when the head of a Local Tax office disagrees with the taxpayer’s position. Also, if the outcome of an appeal to the Commissioner-General is not satisfactory to the taxpayer, then he has the option of resorting to the independent tax appeals board or the courts for redress”.

The deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobby, on his part assured the GEA of government’s support in their bid to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.


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