Only 8% of Ghanaians pay income taxes – Ken Ofori-Atta reveals

Source The Ghana Report

Finance Minister Ken Ofor-Atta has indicated that only 8.2% of working Ghanaians pay income taxes to the government’s coffers.

The minister, at the budget reading in Parliament for the 2022 fiscal year, bemoaned the statistic as inimical to macroeconomic development. He further promised that the government will make use of the data obtained by 2021 Population and Housing Census for to improve the situation.

“Mr. Speaker, the Ghana Statistical Service has completed the preliminary report on the 2021 Population and Housing Census. The Census provided useful information that will inform the effective planning and implementation of government policies. However, the data presented also shows some trends that need to be addressed to build a more equitable society,” Ofori-Atta said on Wednesday, November 17.

Taxes paid by Ghanaians contribute to a little more than 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The minister also revealed the disparities in regional compliance, showing that Greater Accra led the way in that vein.

“Greater Accra tops the country as the region with 90% of tax compliance while Western, Ashanti, and Eastern Regions followed,” the minister said.

Prior to the reading of the budget, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) removed the benchmark value on some 32 imported items to boost local industries.

A benchmark value policy is supposed to shield stakeholders from losing out in trades on certain commodities and stocks. This policy, in effect, offers among other things, tax breaks and waivers to importers.

The 32 affected items include palm oil, crude and refined oils, noodles, toilet and facial tissue, chocolate, clinker, mosquito coil, vehicles, ceramic tiles and aluminum products.

Others are cartons, water, plastic, tile cement, textiles, iron steel, fruit juices, tomato paste, cement paper bags, furniture and parts, toilet and laundry soap, detergents, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, cigarettes, machinery and equipment as well as biscuit.

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