Minority threatens court action over new VAT

Source: myjoyonline.com

THE MINORITY in Parliament are threatening to drag Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Finance to court, if they insist on implementing a controversial VAT on financial services.
The Minority spokesperson on finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has warned that the “government will be perpetuating an illegality in the implementation of that law”. “But when the bill came to parliament we opposed it on the grounds that it will impose additional burden on consumers and businesses,” he told Joy News.
He was convinced that the best option was for the government to withdraw the law due to its complexity. The Ghana Revenue Authority has announced 35 services likely to attract a 17.5 percent VAT charges in the financial services sector.
The 17.5 percent increase will affect transactions such as stopped and returned cheque, clearing charges, standing orders, commission on take over for corporate bodies as well as statements and certificates of balance.
The proposal which is expected to take effect July 1, has been greeted with many objections from both the general public and especially the minority in parliament. Some business analysts have objected the policy claiming that the financial institutions will pass on the cost to their customers.
Even before the implementation of the bill, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei has advised the Ministry of Finance to re –introduce the bill to parliament for amendment before the changes are affected.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority says it has done the necessary education and work to implement the Value Added Tax on financial services from July 1 even though the banks say they are still not prepared for it.
But Commissioner-General George Blankson tells Joy Business there is no turning back on this tax.

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