Prosecute Tax Stamp Defaulters – Expert Tells Government

A tax expert, Dr  Ibrahim Bedi, has advised government to prosecute owners of businesses who will default in paying the Excise Tax Stamp by the March 1 deadline.

“They should be prosecuted, they should be jailed, and whatever fine is needed should be collected,” he said.

The Finance Ministry has said it will proceed to enforce the Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) from March 1 despite some concerns raised by the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana about the tax stamp.

Under the Act, companies and importers of cigarettes and other tobacco products, beverages and bottled water who fail to comply with the deadline risk sanctions.

Effective March 1, the Ghana Revenue Authority is required to stamp on products listed under the law before they are allowed onto the market for sale.

A statement signed and issued by a Deputy Minister of Finance, Kwaku Kwarteng, on Wednesday said the ministry will ensure strict compliance on March 1 at the various points of sale for excisable products captured under the law.

Dr. Ibrahim Bedi who has backed government on the enforcement of the law said the whip must be cracked on companies that will fail to meet the deadline.

“This cannot be done anywhere in the world. We have to raise revenue to let the country run. They should be prosecuted, they should be jailed, and whatever fine is needed should be collected. We should not encourage mediocrity”, he said.

He refuted claims that the cost of equipments for the exercise will increase the cost of production for companies.

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