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27.01.2005 Regional News

Artisans in Ashanti call for review of tax stamp

By GNA

Kumasi, Jan. 27, GNA - Petty traders and artisans in the Ashanti Region have appealed to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to review the new tax stamp rates downwards to make the tax more affordable and convenient for them to pay.

They said the 50,000 cedis minimum rate per quarter of the tax stamp, was on the high side since the quarterly incomes of most of them were below that amount.

The artisans who were mostly dressmakers, tailors, carpenters, fitters, photographers, hairdressers among others, complained that they were already overburdened by high utility bills and increases in the monthly property rates of the various district assemblies and other taxes at the local level and the current high tax stamp may compel them to abandon their trades.

They made the appeal at the Ashanti Regional launch of the new tax stamp in Kumasi, on Thursday.

The tax stamp, which aims at increasing the revenue contribution of the informal sector, ranges from a minimum of 50,000 cedis to 250,000 cedis.

Mr James Anaman, Assistant Commissioner of IRS in-charge of Ashanti Region, said out of the 44.9 billion cedis collected in the Region last year, the informal sector contributed only 503 million cedis.

He said the Vehicle Income Tax (VIT) alone contributed over 14 billion cedis to the Regional revenue last year.

Mr Anaman said the introduction of the tax stamp was to increase the revenue contribution of the informal sector to the national economy. Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, acting Ashanti Regional Minister, in an address read for him, charged the IRS to embark on a vigorous public education campaign to enable the people to understand and pay their taxes promptly.

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