The leadership of Parliament is expected to seek further clarifications from officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) and the Finance Minister over the implementation of the Value Added Tax(Amendment)Act,2017, after they were cited for contempt.
According to the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, the leadership of the House will have to meet with officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Finance Ministry to determine the implementation of VAT on financial services, and agree on how the 3% flat VAT rate will be implemented.
“I direct that the leadership of the House working in consultation with leadership of the Finance Committee engage the Ghana Revenue Authority and guide them as to the import of the law that has been passed so they can take if they need time for implementation.
The Finance Minister may be brought in to participate in the discussion” he said.
Government in the 2017 Budget Statement announced some tax reliefs, including abolishing of VAT on Financial services.
To give legal effect to the policy on VAT on Financial services, Parliament passed the Value Added Tax (Amendment), Act 2017, Act 948 to include the supply of the financial services as exempt supply.
Implementation of the tax cuts was expected to begin on June 1, but the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), which operates under the Finance Ministry, has postponed it to July.
It is as a result of this that, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has filed a motion before the House restraining GRA to suspend the advert and the implementation, with their action been considered as contempt of Parliament.
Mr Iddrisu said the decision by the Finance Ministry to suspend the approved tax cuts will create confusion in the minds of the Ghanaian public and to businesses.
“That is even contemptible of this House; that an institution such as GRA and the Minister of Finance will set aside an Act of Parliament and just make an announcement that I am suspending this tax cut,” he said on the floor of Parliament.
The motion indicates that the House call on the Minister responsible for Finance to implement the Value Added Tax(Amendment)Act,2017,(Act 948) and suspend the advert in the media suspending the implementation of Act 948.
In the 2017 budget statement, Parliament passed the VAT Amendment Act (2017) to allow for retailers and wholesalers to pay 3 percent tax instead of 17.5 percent charges on non-core financial services.
It also would require all taxable retailers and wholesalers to account for the Value Added Tax (VAT) at a flat rate of three per cent.
The rate would be calculated on the value of the taxable supply unless the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) directs otherwise.
The Act also aims at providing a simplified VAT scheme for retailers so as to improve their compliance levels.
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