Ghana risks investor revolt as it seeks to raise more money from ‘back tax’ penalties.
This is coming after South African Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, according to Bloomberg, warned that South African companies operating in countries where they had faced challenges disinvested, damaging their economies.
The Ghana Revenue Authority had imposed ‘back tax’ penalties on MTN, Tullow, Goldfields and Kosmos Energy. But the companies have all indicated their positions to contest the claims by the GRA.
However, the GRA advised the multinational companies contesting the imposition of the ‘back tax’ penalties to use internal systems designed to address the issues of tax dispute.
Answering some questions by Joy Business, the GRA said the companies have the right under the GRA Law to object to the tax imposition, after which the GRA will determine the case in 30 days.
If not satisfied, the authority insisted the companies appeal to the Independent Tax Appeals Board after making 30 percent payment of the surcharged back tax.
But the South African Foreign Minister has called for amicable solution of the problem to enable the about 100 South African companies in Ghana to operate without challenges.
Naledi Pandor pointed out that more than 100 South African companies do business in Ghana and have invested over $1.4 billion over the past decade, providing jobs for more than 19,000 Ghanaians.
The strategy by GRA is not unprecedented — Nigeria’s demand for $4.4 billion in back taxes from pay TV service Multichoice last year led to an acrimonious fight and an out-of-court settlement. It had also previously targeted MTN.
Ghana is desperate for cash with the rising debt crisis almost halving the value of its national currency over the past year and driving inflation to 54%.
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