Ghana: Businesses Urged to Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

Businesses must comply with the necessary regulations in the tax system and also take advantage of the tax incentives available instead of attempting to use aggressive means to avoid taxes, President, Chartered Institute of Taxation-Ghana Nii Aryi Aryeetey has said.

Speaking at the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) construction sector stakeholders' engagement dinner in Accra on Thursday, he said there were several incentives that businesses could use to make it easy for them to pay taxes.

"You may not be paying the right taxes because of the fact that, the business is not organised well to benefit from certain incentives provided in the law," he said.

According to him, it would not be difficult for businesses to pay their taxes if they recognise the available incentives and use them effectively.

"Everybody complains that they pay a lot of taxes but taxes are different and the important thing is that the amount of taxes one pays is defined by law and the provisions are there," he stated.

Mr Aryeetey said: "It is a different thing for a person saying that, the provisions of the law are not favourable, then we can talk about specifics where the entire tax system needs to be looked at, but if it is income tax, then it depends on the profit and should be easy to pay," he stressed.

"The important thing is to have good documentation, good record and ensure the business is run openly, so that whatever you wish to claim, can be verified by the Ghana Revenue Authority and received," he stated.

He advised businesses to seek the help of a tax consultant, to help them understand the tax system; pay the right amount of taxes at the right time at all times.

The task of a consultant, he said, would help streamline one's business in such a way that it would be able to take advantage of such incentives.

"The advantage is that, the person would advice you on how to arrange your business and pay the right amount of taxes at the right time, so you do not pile it up and get issues with taxes," he explained.

Mrs Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, Project Director, YIEDIE, commended players in the construction for supporting the YIEDIE project.

"They have contributed immensely in training and supporting the thousands of artisans that have passed through the YIEDIE project," she stated.

She added that, the construction sector contributes largely to the economy of the country and urged many young people to enter into the sector.

She said 21,085 youth made up of 5,962 women and 15,123 men have so far been trained and were very active in the construction sector.

The training, she said, involved class work based on national skills curriculum and learning at a workplace with skilled master craftsmen within on-demand facilities under the supervision of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

TVETs she said, also provided value-added training in soft skills and entrepreneurship as well as trainee support for the youth.

"We also engaged the private sector professional associations of the built environment, large corporations extensively to provide additional top-up skills trainings, industrial attachment internships, mentoring, jobs," she said.

YIEDIE, Mrs Mills-Odoi said, had also been working with the Artisans Association of Ghana to establish a sustainable labour market information, job matching system based on the labour net model of India and ongoing professional development support targeting artisans.

The occasion was also used to honour mentors who assisted over the years in making the YIEDIE project successful.

YIEDIE is a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana's construction sector for economically disadvantaged youth.

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