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22.12.2005 Business & Finance

VAT introduces new service

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Accra, Dec 22, GNA - The VAT Service would from next year allow non-traditional exporters who export at least 25 per cent of their raw material production to qualify for refund instead of the initial 70 per cent.

The initiative is intended to create more job opportunities and to encourage more exports to enhance the country's foreign exchange earning.

Mr J. F. Odartey Blankson, Commissioner of VAT Service, disclosed this in Accra at a public forum organised by the Service to interact with VAT registered traders.

He said the Service would also zero rates on the supply of textbooks in order to save the situation where most books were published abroad because they were much cheaper, adding that this would enable publishers in the country to compete in the global market.

Mr Blankson said though the Service had used various enforcement measures to encourage traders to pay their returns in time, most people did not comply and, therefore, it intended to launch a" Service Charter" that would concentrate on consumer service in order to ensure prompt tax payments for increased Government revenue.

"The document would include a code of ethics for the public to know how to judge our performance and what the service had committed itself to do", he said.

The Commissioner said as business entities had the primary objective to maximise profits, they should cooperate with the VAT Service to also achieve its aim to mobilise Government revenue to raise living standards and meet development targets.

Mr Kontor Adampah, Head of Adabraka Local VAT Office, who gave an overview on the performance VAT operation in the area, said most traders submitted their returns on the last day of the month, leading to pressure on the officers.

He noted that most traders did not keep good records, often making work difficult for the officers and appealed to employers to employ competent staff for record keeping.

He called on traders to make use of the complaints and information desk and to cooperate with the Service in order to generate more Government revenue.

Some traders also called for more public educational programmes on the operations of the VAT Service and incentives for companies that paid their returns on time.

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