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Traders, importers in Upper East Region schooled on revised benchmark values

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Some traders and importers in the Upper East Region have been sensitized to the revised benchmark values on imported goods. The government, in April 2019, gave a discount on imports value of 50 percent for general goods and 30 percent for vehicles.

This means that the government was forfeiting the above percentage to cushion the burden of importers and again, to help stabilize the prices of imported goods on the Ghanaian market.

However, effective March 2022, the discount percentage was reduced from 50 to 30 percent for general goods and 30 to 10 percent for vehicles.

Colonel Kwadwo Damoah (rtd), Commissioner of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) said even though the revised benchmark value was a compromised decision taken by the government, it was necessary to address the concerns of members of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

“On the point of view of GUTA, there was a need to reduce the cost of doing businesses because prices had gone up on the world market, especially after Covid-19 and therefore, cost of doing businesses was higher. But AGI also expressed concern that as the government had granted discounts to importers, it means that imported goods had become relatively cheaper than goods manufactured locally. As a result, they [AGI] said a lot of their businesses were collapsing and they were laying off workers. So, what the government did was to maintain the discount but at a reduced percentage. So, it was a win-win for everybody because GUTA wanted the maintenance of the status quo, thus 50 percent for goods and 30 percent for vehicles, and AGI wanted a total abolishing.”

He spoke to A1 Radio during a stakeholders engagement with traders and importers in Bolgatanga. The engagement forum was to solicit the views of traders and importers after the implementation of the revised version of the discount on import values.

The joint engagement saw the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of GRA sensitize the traders and importers on the introduction of the electronic levy. The business community was also schooled on the legal requirement of the GRA Taxations’ portal for filing tax returns.

The stakeholders take turns to seek clarification on the revised benchmark values on imported goods, the E-levy, and the online filing of tax returns.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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