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Bawumia Promises Tax Amnesty and VAT Restructuring for Businesses In 2025

The Vice President who doubles as the current flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said he’s taking a cue from the Estonia tax system after he visited that country earlier in January to understudy their tax system and digitalization.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has told a gathering of business industry players that should he win the 2024 elections, his government would provide tax amnesty as part of measures to overhaul the tax system and its burden on businesses.

“We are going to start with a clean slate in 2025 and that is why in 2025 we are going to grant a tax amnesty to all businesses and individuals and start afresh,” he said to business players who raised high applause over the announcement at a dialogue on today, March 20,  organized by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ghana Bar Association.

The Vice President who doubles as the current flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) said he’s taking a cue from the Estonia tax system after he visited that country earlier in January to understudy their tax system and digitalization.

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As part of that review would be to start a new system, he said, by introducing a “simple flat tax,” and review the Value Added Tax (VAT) structure.

“Ghana is going to start a new flat tax system as we have in Estonia. We are going to introduce a very simple and business-friendly tax system. Anybody can calculate their tax liability just on the back of an envelope. And we are going to review the whole VAT structure to make it very simple,” he said.

Over the years, businesses have continually complained over high taxes crippling their operations. Last month, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce which organised this meeting complained bitterly about the situation, saying that it was no longer sustainable for enterprises after Parliament passed three new revenue measures last year.

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Dr. Bawumia’s government has also faced criticism from the opposition, who have said some businesses have had to move operations to neighboring Côte d’Ivoire over high taxes.

While details of that VAT restructuring is not yet clear, the Vice President, who is the NPP front-runner in the December polls says his proposals are relevant because businesses seem to be in continual disputes with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

“I honestly believe and I’ve called the GRA Commissioner to tell him that they are harassing businesses. And that harassment is coming from the sort of targets they set in their offices. They are setting unrealistic targets. And this is because the tax base is so narrow. And so I’ve been looking at this very seriously and we are going to change it,” he said at the meeting.

But Bawumia says that would change in 2025, if only he wins the election as they would introduce faceless audits.

“We are going to do faceless audits. Officials should not come to businesses to do audits.”

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