AGI launches tax guide
AGI launches tax guide Website
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) on Tuesday called on government to address inconsistencies in the country's tax laws, which tended to distort economic growth. "There is the need for government to remove inconsistencies in the tax laws. Some laws in the tax code are not enforceable and very difficult to implement, and this is detrimental to industry", Mr Anthony Oteng-Gyasi, President of the AGI said. Speaking at the launch of the AGI's Basic Guide on Ghana's tax law in Accra, Mr. Oteng-Gyasi said the AGI was of the view that taxation was a healthy practice for the economy to foster development. The Guide, which is collaboration between the German Technical Corporation GTZ and the AGI, is a simplified version of the tax law for easier assimilation by individuals who hitherto needed legal practitioners to explain it to them. It is also meant to assist law students, tax officers and companies understand the law and its implications. Mr. Oteng-Gyasi said the AGI was however, concerned at what point the incidence of tax took effect, especially in the situation pertaining to Ghana where industry was taxed even before production. He explained that taxes on raw materials and goods that fed industry, and taxes that increased the cost of doing business was not good for the economy. Giving an example to buttress his point, Mr Oteng Gyasi said the instance where imported printed materials like text books attracted no duty, was detrimental to the growth of local printers who were taxed on even the raw materials for printing. He said such tax laws stifled local industry to the benefit of foreign products. The AGI President held that tax incentives as presently constituted in the tax laws have not yielded the necessary results because policies have not complemented each other, citing the incentive for companies that relocated to rural areas, which lacked basic infrastructure. He thus asked government to ensure that the imposition of taxes on industries ran along with the provision of adequate infrastructure that would enable them to survive. "Industries cannot survive in areas which lack social amenities such as electricity and water supply. "There is the need to ensure that, this inconsistency does not lead to the collapse of vibrant industries as well as discouraging the establishment of new ones in the rural and urban areas", he said. "People residing in communities that lack facilities for industrial growth would end up becoming unemployed. And no one is willing to set up an industry in such an area", he said. Other contributors at the programme stressed the need for individuals and the business community to stay abreast with what pertained in taxes levied on Ghanaians. They held that it was important that the country had stable tax laws that were beneficial to local industry as well as attract foreign investment to grow the economy.