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Businesses in Western Region commend government for interventions

The business community in the Western Region has commended the Government for implementing measures targeted at stimulating economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the key measures are the establishment of a COVID-19 Alleviation Programme and the Business Support Scheme for businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate economic recovery.

In separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency, leaders of some key businesses commended the Government for implementing some tax relief measures to mitigate impact.

These include extending the due dates for filing of tax returns from four months to six months and the grant of waiver of penalties on principal tax liabilities owed by taxpayers who redeem their outstanding liabilities by June 30, 2020.

Businesses have also been granted an automatic two months extension for filing tax returns, which normally was due four months after end of their financial year.

Mr Barry Bruce Antwi, the Chief Executive Officer of Smart Trust Accounting Consultancy, said the intervention was timely and urged business owners to provide accurate information to qualify for the support scheme.

He expressed the optimism that the package would go a long way to cushion businesses in dire need of sustaining their activities to avert job losses.

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Mr Antwi called on the Government to put in place stringent measures to help recover every money given, recalling that over the years monies given to businesses by government had been woefully managed leading to loses and low recovery rate.

He said the COVID-19 Alleviation Programme was to protect households and livelihoods, support micro, small and medium-sized businesses, minimise job losses and source additional funding for promotion of industries to expand output for domestic consumption and exports.

He called on businesses to undertake operational risk assessment and use the money judiciously to be able to make a profit and payback without defaulting adding that often time business owners went for loans only to diversify them for other investments.

Mr Bernard Kwarteng, an importer, noted that the waiver of the penalties would provide a window for taxpayers having outstanding tax obligations to avoid penalty charges.

He said though the tax measures were temporary as the COVID-19 situation remained fluid, more far-reaching tax measures should be introduced in future to stimulate economic activities, especially in the worst affected industries.

Mr Kwarteng said the recent announcement by the Ghana Revenue Authority to grant tax waivers for companies donating to the COVID-19 Fund should encourage businesses and individuals alike to support the Government in the fight against the pandemic.

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