Government has announced the suspension of vehicle income tax to benefit owners of commercial public transport, popularly called trotros and taxis.

This, the Caretaker Finance Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said is aimed at reducing the cost of transportation under its tax relief programme.

Presenting the 2020 Budget statement to Parliament on Friday, the Suame Member of Parliament (MP) said the government is suspending the “quarterly instalment payments of the vehicle income tax for the third and fourth quarters of 2021 for trotros and taxis as part of measures to reduce the cost of transportation.”

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister explained that it is part of efforts by the government to bring relief to different sections of the population, especially those hardest hit by the pandemic.

The Suame MP also announced a tax rebate of 30 per cent on the income tax due for companies in hotels and restaurants, education, arts and entertainment, and travel and tours for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021.

For operators of small businesses using the income tax stamp system, government is suspending the quarterly income tax instalment payments for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021.

There is also an extension of the waiver of interest as an incentive for early payment of accumulated tax arrears.

There will be “a waiver of penalty and interest on accumulated tax arrears up to December 2020 to reduce cash flow challenges for companies and individuals who arrange terms with GRA to pay up the principal by September 2021.”

The Caretaker Finance Minister stressed that “beneficiaries of these relieve will have to be registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority and must have fulfilled their first quarter tax obligations.”