Business owners in the Ashanti Region have decried the impact of rising taxation on their operations.

The businesses say they are either choking or collapsing under the huge tax burden of the state.

Some businessmen say they are considering relocating to other countries with favourable tax regimes.

Executive Secretary of the Ashanti Business owners Association, Charles Kusi Appiah wants the government to take a second look at the existing policies and rates to encourage local businesses to grow.

He was speaking at a meeting with the Ghana Revenue Authority.

“We have concerns about taxes and the approaches that GRA sometimes adopts in collecting Texas. One of the key issues about it is the three per cent flat rate, which the administration and the structure of the leadership doesn’t support the kind of business we do because of the value chain in our business.

So, we’ll be making a lot of engagement with government, they will probably understand and describe a tax that sits well, with the kind of business we do.”

Mr Kusi Appiah continued that, “as businesses, we are interested in paying tax because we know government achieves its economic development goals through taxation.

But we are interested in paying tax that will help our business to grow, not to wreck our businesses”.

Ashanti Regional Manager of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Samuel Sakyi Duodu, has assured business owners their concerns will be addressed.

“Our traders are also our tax payers.  They help with generating money for the economy. The GRA mobilises the money for national development so when they have complaints, we meet with them and discuss the best way we can help them.

In their accounts, there is interest and expenditure. Loan interest is part of expenditure. We allow them to add their rent, salaries for workers, electricity, water and other charges. The net is the profit that we tax. We do not tax the income of businesses.

With the issue of value added tax (VAT), Mr Duodu explained that the GRA has appointed an assistant commissioner in charge of VAT who is working on revamping VAT because it has realised it is going down. 

“A lot of businesses are not charging nor paying the VAT well, so we are taking a look at the whole VAT spectrum. We will come out with new initiatives,” he said.