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Tax Exemptions Bill to be passed in next meeting of Parliament – Ofori-Atta.

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Tax Exemptions Bill to be passed in next meeting of Parliament – Ofori-Atta. 56

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is hopeful that the Tax Exemptions Bill 2021 will be passed by Parliament at its next meeting.

Speaking at a press briefing to inform Ghanaians about the progress of negotiations between the government, the Minority in Parliament, and other stakeholders on the 2022 Budget statement and economic policy, the Minister noted that given the importance of the Bill, Parliament will consider and pass it in at its next meeting.

The Tax Exemptions Bill 2021 was laid in Parliament and read for the first time, a day before the presentation of the 2022 Budget statement in November.

The next meeting of Parliament is expected to commence in January 2022.

With the first reading of the bill done, there are three more important thresholds to be crossed in the parliamentary process before the passage of the bill- is the second reading stage, the consideration stage, and the third reading stage before an assent from the President to make it law.

Tax Exemptions Bill

It is estimated that for every one Ghana cedi of tax collected, the corresponding amount given away as exemptions increased from six pesewas to 12.5 pesewas between 2010 and 2018.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance, in the first quarter of 2019, introduced the Tax Exemptions Bill to consolidate and streamline the applicable exemptions in different laws and improve the transparency and certainty in dealing with the exemptions, but the bill was not passed by the 7th Parliament for a number of reasons.

In August 2021, a group of civil society Organisations; Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana (TJC), the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition Ghana (GACC), under the umbrella of the Legislative Advocacy Programme with funding from OXFAM rekindled efforts to ensure that the right tax exemptions regime is instituted in the country.

The object of the Bill is to rationalize the current exemptions regime on taxes, levies, fees, and charges to improve domestic revenue mobilization.

This is to be achieved by consolidating existing statutory provisions on tax and other exemptions and to provide for the administration of exemptions.

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