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24.02.2005 Regional News

Tax payers educated on tax laws and relief

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Takoradi, Feb. 24, GNA - Mr Francis T. Nartey, Assistant Commissioner of the Western Regional Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said tax incentives are meant to reduce the tax burden on taxpayers. He said the agricultural sector, real estate, rural banking and the Ghana Stock Exchange, are sectors that benefit from tax concessions. Mr Nartey said these at a day's seminar on the theme: "Creating a Healthy Relationship With Your Tax Payers", for large taxpayers in the Western Region on Wednesday at Takoradi.

He said tree crops and cattle farming enjoy a 10-year tax holiday each, after the first harvest and commencement of business.

Mr Nartey said manufacturing companies located outside Accra and Tema get a 25 per cent rebate for locating in regional capitals, while those located in the districts benefit from 50 per cent rebate.

He however, cautioned that gift tax, which includes buildings, land, shares and other securities; money, including foreign currency, business and business assets are taxable at a rate of 10 per cent.

Mr Nartey explained that gifts given under interstate or a will, gifts from a persons spouse, to a child, parent, uncle and aunt, gifts to religious bodies, which is used for public benefit and gifts to charitable organisation or for educational purposes are tax-free. Mr Samuel Tettey Tetteh, Chief Inspector of Taxes said it is important for all Large Taxpayers to be abreast with tax laws to avoid being surcharged penalties for late payments of taxes.

He said any agent, who withholds tax, would pay the interest or penalty charged by IRS and cannot be recovered from the person who paid the tax. Mr Tetteh appealed to agents to ensure that they pay withheld tax to the commissioner within 15 days after the end of the month. Penalties to be paid for the delay by any agent who withholds tax ranges from five to 30 per cent and the actual tax withheld.