Gov’t urged to freeze new tax exemptions for foreign companies

Prof. Peter Quartey, Director at ISSER

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) is calling for a freeze on new tax exemptions for foreign companies.

In its proposed fiscal policy measures to the government in the 2024 Budget, ISSER also suggested the review of tax exemptions for the free zones and extractive industries.

Research has revealed that Ghana loses about GHC25 billion annually through tax exemptions. This has compelled many to call for the abolishment of tax exemptions for foreign companies.

Among some indirect tax measures, the research organisation also called for a reduction in the Electronic Transfer Levy rate from 1.5% to 1% of transaction value and the removal of the daily threshold.

It also proposed the withdrawal of discounts on benchmark import values on selected imported general goods and vehicles.

Other recommendations

ISSER further suggested to the government to re-introduce public road tolls on selected roads, the introduction of a Self-Clearance system at the ports for imports, and the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) invoicing to cover all VAT taxpayers by 2024.

Regarding direct taxes, the institute also called for the introduction of a 35% marginal income tax rate for individuals and a revision of the upper limits for vehicle benefits.

It also proposed the conversion of the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (NFSL) to the Growth and Sustainability Levy (GSL) to cover all entities. This will avoid the duplication of taxes.

In terms of expenditure, ISSER wants the freezing of public sector employment; review key government programmes to reflect relevance, promote efficiency and ensure value for money and integrate the public procurement approval processes with GIFMIS to ensure that projects approved are aligned with budget allocation.

Also, it suggested the implementation of action on the government directives on expenditure measures and the review of the efficiency of statutory funds.

2023 revenue target

In the 2023 Budget, the government targeted a revenue mobilization of GHC141.553 billion, about 98.3% increase.

For non-oil tax revenue, the government was seeking to raise GHC99.639 billion. It is expected to generate GHC23.455 billion from the oil and gas sector.

For expenditure, the government is expected to spend GHC45.52 billion on wages and salaries. This represents 23.8% of total expenditure.

GHC52.55 billion will, however, be spent on loans as interest payments, about 27.5% of total expenditure.

For capital expenditure, an estimated GHC27.63 billion, representing 13.9% of total expenditure will be spent this year.


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