“When will the government stop punishing all Ghanaians because of its own inefficiency, corruption” – Ablakwa quizzes as E-Levy goes live

The MP for North Tongu said the government does not need to impose new taxes on citizens to ensure that it generates the revenue needed to undertake development projects.

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the government had been prevented from generating enough resources due to deliberate fiscal irregularities.

Citing the Auditor General’s 2018 report, he noted that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had failed to collect GH¢2.66 billion from businesses and high net worth individuals “despite the millions of dollars taxpayers struggling poor spent on their rather opaque contract with the McKenzie Company Inc. in 2017 ostensibly to improve efficiency.

In a Facebook post, he said “the anarchic GRA which clearly despises the Supreme Court for implementing the unconstitutional and repugnant E-Levy” should be made to meet its challenges rather than take more from the citizens.

So he asked, “When will the government stop punishing every Ghanaian for their own inefficiency, collusion and corruption?

“A government that loves to burden the poor masses in collusion with big business and connected individuals to evade taxes does not deserve our support to impose additional regressive tax measures,” he added.

For North Tongu MP, “top-notch efficiency, accountability and ruthlessness led by incorruptible leaders bent on punishing corruption without selectivity” is what Ghana needs to ensure enough resources are generated not draconian taxes.

Mr Ablakwa’s comments come a day after the electronic transaction tax (E-levy) was introduced. From May 1, Ghanaians will be taxed 1.5% on electronic transactions over GH¢100. However, some transactions below the threshold were taxed.

According to the GRA, this is because billing entities; Telcos, banks, payment service providers (PSPs) and specialized depository institutions; load from their individual systems.

The Authority noted that steps are being taken to address the challenges.

“We have shared some guidelines with billing entities on how to cancel these legitimate transfers that are not meant to attract the charge.

The second category is also that same off-grid where people send less than 100 cedis and get charged. This has been brought to our attention and we are in communication with billing entities to review this,” said Isaac Kobina Amoako, Project Management Manager. JoyNews AM broadcast Monday.

Auditor General’s Report 2018

The Auditor General’s 2018 report found that tax irregularities accounted for 92.15% of total reported financial crimes.

This tax irregularity included GH¢33,675,044 owed by ten petroleum marketing companies that failed to pay petroleum product taxes levied at TOR between November 2016 and November 2017.

“These irregularities could be attributed mainly to the failure of the Ghana Revenue Authority to collect tax revenue and also to enforce measures and penalties against defaulters.

I recommended to the GRA management to strengthen its monitoring and supervision of its staff. They should also take steps to improve the efficiency of tax administration, collection and monitoring of overdue taxes while enforcing penalties prescribed by tax laws,” the report adds.

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