The Association of Ghanaian Industries (AGI) has appealed to government to permanently take responsibility for the cost involved in making available to manufacturers the newly initiated excise tax stamp system of monitoring revenue collection.
The CEO of AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, speaking at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre’s (GIPC), 4th Quarter Breakfast Meeting at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel said: “AGI welcomes the tax stamp initiative and is not kicking against it but rather wants clarity on the technicalities and the appropriate concerns needs to be addressed so that the manufacturer will not be competitively disadvantaged.
“We appreciate the fact that government is bearing the cost of supplying the tax stamp materials but we want to use this medium to appeal to government to maintain this practice going on ahead.
Because if a manufacturer is producing 10,000 bottles of a beverage a day and he is to pay for all the stamp to each product, it is a huge cost to the manufacturer and as manufacturers, our aim is to always reduce cost of production as possible.”
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), as it stands now, supplies the excise digital tax stamps to manufacturers and importers at absolutely no cost and even have affixing facilities at the various entry points to the country and this is what AGI is appealing to ensure it continues to be free.
Technical Advisor to Commissioner General, GRA, Yankyera Akwasi, in his presentation on the theme: “Implementation of Tax Stamp Policy; Perspectives, benefits and experience” said over the years, Ghana has been losing revenue through illicit trade activities such as smuggling of beverages, under declaration of goods both imported and produced among others and these has necessitated various measures for verification and monitoring hence the digital tax stamp.
The excise tax stamp shall in according with the Act, (Act 2013, Act 873) shall be affixed on specified excisable goods which are mineral water, beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), cigarettes and other tobacco products.
This includes both those manufactured in the country and delivered for home consumption or imported into this country and delivered for home consumption, he said.
Furthermore, he outlined some challenges facing the implementation such as; perception of people about the policy as anew tax type, cost of the materials and machines and treatment of stocks in the market.
Other challenges with imports are; non-payment of excise duty mis classification, under declaration of quantities and mis-description.
All importers and manufacturers of the affected products are required to register with the Ghana Revenue Authority for smooth and effective implementation of the tax stamp programme.
The Director, Investor Services Division, GIPC, Edward Ashong-Lartey, in the opening address said: these series was introduced in recognition of a need identified for appropriate fora for the private sector to deliberate, with key government stakeholders and experts in different fields on current business issues and make appropriate recommendations to government in bid to influence policy formulation, he said.
The GRA says going forward, it will continue with sensitization of the public, enforce at the points of entre and other snap checks of consignments from eastern frontier in particular, enforce publicity and seek unequivocal support from the general public.