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Bolga Municipal Assembly worried about residents helping Chinese, Indians to evade taxes

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The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly has expressed some disquiet about locals who help foreign nationals; like the Chinese and Indians evade taxes.

Dauda Issaku Saari, the Bolgatanga Municipal Budget Officer, speaking on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, disclosed that it has become difficult for the Assembly to tax or levy some big businesses operating within the Bolgatanga Municipality because locals front for some foreigners.

As such, the foreigners make huge sums of monies but do not pay the Assembly what is due it. Mr. Saari warned that the situation cannot continue.

“You go around and go and see some funny business, when you trace, locals are aiding the people to avoid taxes. There are some Chinese doing some donkey skins. When you try to trace, you will find that there are some locals who are trying to block the Assembly from getting access to the owners [the Chinese] to get them to pay the necessary fees.”

“Surprisingly, we have started to see some small businesses doing melting of good and such, even in town. When you go, the person does not even understand a single local language,” he said.

The MCE for Bolgatanga, Rex Asanga, who was part of the conversation, also said, “one day, we just took our car and started going round, identifying Chinese businesses. They are into serious business with donkey hides. You would not believe it, but there are many Chinese people in town exporting donkey hides to China, and they pay nothing for the 3 or 4 years they have been in business. If you do that in China, you will be hanged. They will find you guilty of economic sabotage. But the Chinese have the audacity, Indians are running shops and paying nothing.”

“They take a low-cost house and they stock the whole house with goods; distributive trade and yet they have not even come to the Assembly for permits,” he added.

To help address these concerns, the Bolga Municipal Assembly is restrategizing and coming up with ingenious ways of identifying all such businesses and compelling them to pay the needed fees and taxes.

Meanwhile, the Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly over the last 4 years has raised a total of Ghc4,229,617.14 in Internally Generated Revenue (IGF). The total revenues were raised under 7 categories.

The categories include; income on property, lands and royalties, rent income and licences. The rest are; fees, fines and penalties, miscellaneous and unident revenue.

In 2018, the assembly raised Ghc923,860.75. In 2019, the revenue collected increased to Ghc1,118,110.30. There was a dip in revenues collected in 2020 as the Assembly managed to collect only Ghc929,693.34. The dip was attributed to the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021 as restrictions eased and businesses slowly reopened, the Assembly managed to raise a total IGF of Ghc1,257,952.75.

Out of the total amount raised, the Assembly spend Ghc4,088,396.61 on compensation, goods and services as well as assets.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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