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04 February 2017

‘Customs Management System 3’ to support private businesses – GCNET

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The third generation of the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS 3) will be rolled out in the first quarter of this year.

The move, which is being powered by the Ghana Community Network (GCNET) will provide a tighter revenue generation systems to the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS).

It is part of efforts to enhance tax administration systems and inch up the contribution of tax to the country’s GDP.

According to the Executive Chairman of the Ghana Community Network (GCNET), Mr. Nortey Omaboe, the Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS 3) will help widen the tax base and alleviate the pressure on private business.

“There has been a lot of talk of certain taxes not really being supportive of private sector development; and this is true. The key is really to widen the net and we have seen in countries as far as Georgia where actually tax rate has been reduced significantly,” he told Starr Business.

He added that: “When you have to pay import duties at 5% across board, nobody thinks of under invoicing. The compliance rate increase. So you need a bold political decision to say; look, we are going to reduce out taxes and the increase in compliance should not lead to any significant reduction in the overall revenue mobilization”.

According to him, even before government begins its program to implement the tax cuts it promised in the run up to the 2016 election, there are electronic systems in place to facilitate the move.

“There are measures in place. But the issue is that even if you have system in place and the tax rates are at those levels, it results in a lowering of compliance. But if the tax rates can be reduced there is a correlation directly with improved compliance which will not necessarily lead to a reduction in the revenue base and this is what has happened in many countries that have gone that way,”he averred.

The NPP ahead of the elections promised massive tax reforms.  Taxes such as the 17.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) on financial services and domestic air tickets will be scrapped, while others such as the corporate income tax will be reduced from 25 to 20 per cent.

Also, the special import levy, the 17.5 per cent VAT on imported medicines and the five per cent VAT on real estate are expected to be abolished under the new government.

Meanwhile, the 17.5 per cent VAT for small enterprises is expected to be reduced to three per cent flat rate.

 

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