Local manufacturing firms agree to tax stamp policy after weeks of stiff opposition

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says local manufacturing industries have agreed to comply with the tax stamp policy despite initial stiff opposition.

The AGI had earlier raised concerns over the seizure of products and subsequent shut down of defaulting factories.

Speaking to JoyBusiness at the Quarter 4 CEOs Breakfast Meeting, organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum Akwaboah explained that local manufacturing firms are now complying with the directive.

“We always believe there must be a dialogue especially when there has been a concern over the initial implementation of the tax stamp policy. Initially, we complained there should be some dialogue that we have had. It wasn’t that we are against the policy, we are strongly for it and as I have stated, local manufacturers are complying with this directive and the compliance is very strong,” he stated.

Since the full implementation of the tax stamp policy, the food and beverage association have raised concerns over the manner in which the GRA taskforce conducts its tax stamp compliance exercise.

But the special advisor to the GRA, Sam Kwasi Yankyera said the entire mode of exercise by the special task force has legal backing.

“Our measures are not bullish. We go strictly by the law and we are not interested in hurting any business. This is a move we are embarking on to ensure tax compliance. All players know about this new directive and they know what it means should they default,” he stated.

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) had earlier condemned the seizure of goods and closure of operations of some beverage manufacturing firms by the tax stamp enforcement team of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). President of the AGI, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi warned the move could result in loss of about 5000 jobs.

“Without recourse to the tax stamp implementation arrangements and progress updates that the beverage manufacturers had given the GRA and Finance ministry, the GRA stormed the premises of some AGI beverage manufacturers and this development have caused them huge revenue losses and also dented their brands,” he revealed.

Background

The Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (ACT 873) was passed by Parliament in December 2013 with the aim of helping the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) enforce the affixing of Excise Tax Stamp on specific excisable goods before they are delivered ex-factory, cleared from any port or presented for sale at any commercial level in Ghana.
The ACT subsequently received presidential assent in January 2014.

The Excise Tax Stamp Act is definitely not an introduction of a new tax. It rather requires that Excise Tax Stamps with traceable and security-enhanced features on specified excisable commodities in order to serve as preliminary evidence of the payment of the required duties and taxes and to provide an audit trail for tracing importers and manufacturers of counterfeited goods.

Excisable Products expected to be affixed with the stamps include Cigarette and other Tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic and carbonated beverages, bottled water, textiles and other goods determined by the Minister of Finance.

Source: Joy Business

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