The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has called for the removal of both the COVID-19 Levy and the Special Import Levy in the upcoming 2024 budget.
GUTA, led by its President, Dr. Joseph Obeng, argues that this action would not only ease the cost of doing business but also stimulate increased productivity and subsequently lead to enhanced government revenue collection.
Specifically, GUTA is pressing for the elimination of the 1% COVID-19 Levy, the 2% Special Import Levy, and addressing the intricate nature of Value Added Tax (VAT) within the country.
The COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy was introduced in 2021 as a standalone tax applied to the gross value of taxable goods and services provided under the Standard Rate and VAT Flat Rate Schemes.
However, with the World Health Organization’s declaration of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health emergency, there have been growing calls to discontinue this one percent tax.
The Finance Ministry is set to present the 2024 budget to Parliament in November, and in the lead-up to this crucial moment, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has actively engaged with various interest groups, including GUTA.
Minister Ofori-Atta has recognized the concerns raised by these groups, particularly in relation to the high tax rates within the country, and has pledged that their apprehensions will be thoughtfully considered before the budget presentation.
However, GUTA remains steadfast in its demand for the removal of the COVID-19 Levy and the Special Import Levy, emphasizing the need for a more favorable economic environment despite the Finance Ministry’s assurances that certain taxes will be reconsidered.
The upcoming budget presentation is awaited with great anticipation as the country navigates the complex terrain of fiscal policy and economic recovery.