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2023 Budget: PwC pushes for review of VAT, other policy measures

Auditing and accounting firm, PwC, is pushing for the revision of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and other key policy measures in the 2023 Budget, arguing, they are simply not working.

According to Tax Partner, Abeku Gyan-Quansah, most of the levies introduced are not in compliance with the Earmarking Funds and Realignment Act.

Speaking at the PwC 2023 Post Budget Forum, Mr. Gyan-Quansah called for the revision of the tax laws.

“Let’s reform the VAT, the VAT is simply not working. We can have a standard accumulative VAT rate of 20% and make a claim for it totally. The levies and things you are doing is not in compliance with the Earmarking Funds and Realignment Act”.

Executive Member of the Association of Ghana Industries, Charles Atuahene who was a panelist at the forum, expressed worry about the increase in VAT, it is too aggressive which could stifle growth of the manufacturing tax.

“How long am I going to throw money that I have invested in the capital item, because the foreign exchange laws regime means that, liquidity is going out? Now my tax is going away and you say I should still give cash, where am I going to cash from and pay the tax”.

On her part, Deputy Minister of Finance Abena Osei Asare stated that these tax measures are aimed at restoring macro-economic stability in the short to medium term.

“The 2023 budget was prepared with the view to bringing our debt levels to a sustainable level. Looking at all these things and government wanting to stabilize the economy first and then transform, certainly you will see some measures put in place to achieve this”. 

But, Associate Professor at the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research, Prof. Charles Ackah believes government must focus heavily on agriculture to bring the economy back on track.

Meanwhile, Senior Partner at PwC, Vish Asghiagbor is urging businesses to be innovative in this austere moment to stay competitive in the market.

“Look I mean we are in a different period and none of us can escape those difficulties, so there is stress on businesses. At this point in time, businesses really have to think critically and be innovative on how they achieve cost efficiencies and how they leverage  whatever competitive advantage they have in the market to grow their businesses”. 

The PwC 2023 Post Budget Forum brought together various players in the economy.

Source: Ghana News

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