Digital economy tax should be progressive – Prof Gatsi

Source The Ghana Report

The Dean of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) Business School, Professor John Gatsi is advising the Government of Ghana to implement digital economy tax progressively.

He explains that the progressive rollout of the digital taxation is more effective and would encourage the populace to cooperate when they are being taxed, as compared to government imposing a large percentage of tax on the citizens suddenly.

Speaking during the Graphic Business/ Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting on Tuesday, September 19, Professor Gatsi stated that “Anywhere there is a viable economic activity, it attracts taxes. So I would not be against taxes related to digital economy.”

He however added, “But the digital economy tax should be progressive and not to answer today’s fiscal challenges. So if you want to make it 1%, and then progressively, that is accommodating off the economic system we have. But if you slap it all of a sudden, a huge rate, that would be a problem.”

Prof. Gatsi also noted that proper tracking of taxation can be done effectively and easily by using the Ghana Card.

He explained that the details on the Ghana Card can make it easier for the nation to link some important data to help identify economic activities of the owner of the identification card, as it is done in most advanced countries.

The professor then recommended that government concentrate on improving the national identification card’s relevance to be more than just “an election tool or identification of persons who are citizens of Ghana.”

Commenting on how the government can ensure that it thrives during economic turbulence, Prof Gatsi advised that policymakers in their quest to raise revenue, always take into consideration and ensure that “businesses pay taxes but they are not overburdened.”

“We know that government needs revenue, there is no doubt about it, but it is not about pushing everything to businesses. It’s about measuring what you are pushing to businesses to take. And it is very clear, the feedback is that it’s too much and we need to do something about it, and that will come through engagement and then possible revision.”

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