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24.02.2009 General News

Persons with disabilities want tax reduction law enforced


Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in the Upper West Region have appealed to the government to enforce the Internal Revenue Act 592, that required 25 per cent tax reduction for the physically challenged engaged in businesses.

They said the non-enforcement of the tax reduction policy for the disabled in business was a major impediment to the growth of their business.

This also served as a disincentive to others who were willing to establish some businesses to sustain their livelihoods.

Madam Zenabu Dauda, President of the Mwinikuubu Disabled Women Association (MDWA) made the appeal at a dialogue proposal on 25 per cent tax reduction for disabled persons in business meeting in Wa on Monday.

The forum offered the more than 100 members of the association to dialogue with officials of the Internal Revenue Service in a spirit of mutual respect and trust to ensure that the 25 per cent tax reduction enforced.

Business Advocacy Challenged Fund (BUSAC Fund) sponsored the forum.

Madam Dauda said even though provisions in the law stated that 25 per cent tax relief be given to disabled persons, those of them in the Upper West Region had been denied the service.

“We are given the same tax rate for business operators in the formal private sector and this situation had affected businesses of the disabled persons and also served as a disincentive to many of us who want to engage in businesses”, Madam Dauda lamented.

She said if the law was enforced it would help them to expand their business and become self sufficient while it would also encourage others, who were not in businesses for fear of paying higher taxes to go into businesses.

“An improvement in the income levels of the disabled persons through business would translate into an improved livelihoods and the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger among their family members”, she explained.

“Children who lead some of the disabled persons on the streets to ask for alms would find themselves in school and this would also lead to the attainment of some of the Millennium Development Goals”, she said.

Madam Dauda said persons with disabilities needed to operate in a business–friendly policy environment to enable them to contribute their quota, to complement the public sector for the growth of the national economy.

Mr Christopher Kwaku Dadzie, Assistant Inspector of Taxes at the Wa Municipal Office of the Internal Revenue Service took the members through the different tax regime systems and urged them to always file their returns on their businesses appropriately to enable them to benefit from the act.

Mr Dennis Puorideme, an Integrated Development Consultant and a Service Provider, said issues of disabilities should be taken seriously because the country would not develop if some of its citizens were unable to contribute towards the development of the economy.