The government yesterday took a giant step towards giving tax cuts to businesses and reducing the cost of doing business with the presentation of four tax-related bills to Parliament for amendment.
The bills are the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the bills to Parliament and the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, subsequently referred them to the Finance Committee of Parliament for consideration and report.
The amendment of the bills will give the government the legal backing to reduce taxes for businesses as contained in the 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
Purposes of bills
The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017, seeks to provide for the exemption from tax of the gains from the realisation of securities listed on the stock exchange.
The Special Import Levy aims at removing levies payable on specific imported goods, while the Customs and Excise Bill seeks to repeal petroleum taxes and petroleum related levies.
The Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017, is to repeal custom and excise levies on petroleum products.
During the presentation of the 2017 budget on March 2, 2017, Mr Ofori-Atta announced a number of tax cuts that the government intended to offer businesses.
He described some of the taxes as “nuisance’’ taxes, which had low revenue yielding potential.
He indicated that the decision to remove some taxes and reduce others was to give tax reliefs for businesses.