Government has successfully abolished the 7.5 percent tax on the 20 percent commission being charged lotto operators under the National Lottery Authority (NLA).
Director-General of NLA, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, made this known on Thursday in Accra when the Authority interacted with Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs).
He said in addition to the 7.5 percent tax on the commission, the 5 percent withholding tax on lotto wins has also been abolished.
Mr. Ameyaw, upon assumption of office in March this year, pledged to get government to remove the aforesaid taxes in order to create a level playing field for lotto stakers in the country.
He said the taxes were abolished in the 2018 ‘Adwuma’ Budget presented to parliament recently by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
According to him, removing the taxes became a necessary after the Authority realized that a many of its operators were moving to the camp of the illegal lottery operators known as banker-to-banker because of the imposition of huge taxes.
The illegal lottery operators, he said, “previously had the advantage of a tax-free regime and so those who were selling lotteries for the country, having to bear the brunt of 7.5 percent were shifting to the illegal activities.”
He stressed that because of the taxes, many of the lotto stakers were moving to the illegal business so the number of lotto stakers for NLA has dwindled.
“Similarly, those who were afraid of paying taxes on their wins and for that matter headed towards the illegal lottery business where they do not pay any withholding tax on the wins are now free to come and stake with the government, which means we have opened the system to all those who were doing business undercover or ‘under the table’ to come out openly and do business with government and NLA,” he said.
“The number of lottery stakers for NLA has dwindled because they don’t want to pay any taxes so by removing them, it is going to bring more people and don’t forget that when they don’t win all the revenue comes to government,” he said.
He added that “so what we need to measure is the amount of revenue that we will collect when they don’t win compared to money that is going to illegal operations which doesn’t come to government.”
General Secretary of LMCs, Kofi Frimpong, addressing the media on the sidelines of the meeting held at the Brennan Hall of the NLA, thanked the Akufo-Addo administration for abolishing the taxes, which he claimed were only causing undue hardship for operators in the sector.
“The government has proved that it is a listening government,” according to Mr. Frimpong, who was elated upon hearing that the taxes had finally been abolished.
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