Parliament has approved all four tax bills presented by the Finance Minister to enable the government to enforce tax cuts outlined in the 2017 budget statement.
The bills including; the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017 were passed late Wednesday evening to give government the legal backing to implement its programmes enumerated in the budget.
Given the urgency of the bills, all four bills were taken through the stages in one day and have now been passed, awaiting Presidential Assent before they can become a law.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, told the B&FT he “was really excited the signal has been given that these taxes needs to be repealed so the general welfare of people will be enhanced and that there will be tax relief”.
The Income Tax (Amendment) seeks to amend the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) to exempt the gain on the realization of securities of companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange from income tax for the period 2017 to 2021.
Additionally, the Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is to amend Act 861 of 2013 to remove the levy payable on specific imported goods.
The Special Petroleum Tax Act,2014 (Act 879) is to amend the Petroleum Tax Act,2014 to reduce the rate of the Special Petroleum Tax on petroleum products specified in the Schedule to Act 879 from 17.5% to 15%.
Furthermore, the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017 is to remove the rates of excise duty on petroleum products by repealing the Act.
Parliament earlier on had approved the financial policy of the government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December 2017.