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22.12.2004 General News

Parliament passes Stamp Duty Bill

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Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - Parliament on Wednesday unanimously passed the Stamp Duty Bill, which provides the legal framework for the assessment of instruments liable to duty and for the collection of the duty payable.

A memorandum accompanying the Bill said it is to revise and re-enact the current Stamp Act, 1965 (Act 311) with a view to modernising the law on stamp duties in an ever-growing and changing business environment by simplifying the language to make the legislation easy reading for tax officials, conveyancers and the business community. It will also review the rates appropriately and reduce the cost of doing business in the country in accordance with Government policy. The Bill contains the rates of duties and the specified instruments chargeable with duty as well as those specifically exempted, to inspire confidence in a business friendly environment.

The review of the Bill involves the use of modern information technology in assessing and providing information of dutiable instruments.

Bulky documents do not need to be presented at the Stamp Office for purposes of stamping since the whole system is now based on self-assessment just as in other areas of taxation.

The memorandum said consistent with modern tax legislations, the Bill focuses attention on the imposition of the duty chargeable and that where adhesive stamps are permitted to be used, a special adhesive stamp would have to be issued and obtained from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

The Bill also abolishes the use of postage stamp.

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