Yet-to-be-approved taxes must have timelines – KPMG’s Anthony Sarpong

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International Auditing Firm, KPMG says the yet to approved new taxes are a necessary evil as the government strives to engineer the recovery of the economy following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Citi Business News on the sidelines of a stakeholder engagement on the 2021 budget organised by KPMG, its Senior Partner Anthony Sarpong, indicated that these taxes would require specific time periods, so they could be scrapped once the economy bounced back.

“I believe that the other way is to ensure that, it is for a set period, so it doesn’t become a permanent feature on the expense line of banks. If we do that, there will be a short-term measure to help all of us. For banks, we call them public interest entities. They are there to serve all of us. If they collapse, we will all suffer and if they survive it’s all for our benefit. So if you are in a recovery mode, and they can support the government with revenue for all of us to survive, it is a good move, but it should be short-term in nature, so it can go away.”

New taxes and levies such as the additional 30 pesewas on the price of some petroleum products, the 5 percent financial sector clean-up levy on profit-before-tax of banks to help defray outstanding commitments in the sector, were all introduced in this year’s budget, pending parliamentary approval.

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Though these soon-to-be-implemented taxes have not been received well by Ghanaians, the government believes they will aid the country’s recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, justified the proposed new taxes in the 2021 budget.

He indicated that “Our financial sector also has attacks. All of these associations somehow have an impact on revenue collection. There has to be a collective responsibility on that. We have seen the robustness of the sector over the past three or four years, and therefore I’m roping them in on their part as a shared burden philosophy in terms of the way forward”.

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