The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says it does not expect Ghanaians to feel the impact of the new COVID-19 levy which was rolled out with four other new taxes and levies on Saturday, May 1, 2021.
The government in its 2021 budget and fiscal policy announced the introduction of a 1% COVID-19 health recovery levy geared at helping in the recovery of the economy following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the government’s introduction of a 1% COVID-19 health recovery levy, pollution levy, and an energy sector recovery levy, among others, in a bid to resuscitate the economy after COVID-19 dealt it a heavy blow, many Ghanaians questioned the timeliness of the new taxes.
Industry players, including the exporters and importers association’s Executive Secretary, Samson Asaki Awingobit have predicted hikes in the cost of goods and services, basing his argument on the 1% COVID-19 health recovery levy.
“Whenever such taxes are introduced, the cost of goods and services go up…It is not just the 1% COVID-19 levy, there are others like the banking sector recovery levy, all of which will influence prices,” Mr. Awingobit said in a Citi Business News Interview.
The GRA however says the new COVID-19 levy should not have any significant impact on the cost of goods and services in the country.
Speaking to Citi Business News, a principal Revenue Officer at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Lawrence Hotsonyame said “from the GRA perspective…we do not envisage any material changes in the price of goods and services because this levy is one paid by all taxable persons and because it is a straight levy, we are not going to allow it to be deducted as input tax. So the taxpayer can treat that as a cost and deduct it from income tax. It is allowed as a deduction somewhere and treated as a cost against income so that it will not become a burden on the public”.
Commercial driver unions have however hinted at increments in transport fares following the imposition of an energy sector recovery levy and a sanitation tax on the cost of fuel.