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Traders Demand VAT Act Revisions to Prevent Criminalization and Ensure Fair Business Practices

  • Traders urge the government to amend the VAT Act for smoother implementation.
  • VAT Act mandates a value-added tax on goods and services within Ghana, excluding exempt items, and on imports.
  • VAT is charged on taxable supplies by taxable persons and on imported goods.
  • Traders acknowledge the VAT Act’s legal backing and express willingness to comply.
  • Traders argue current VAT implementation poses significant challenges and negatively affects their image among consumers.
  • A trader highlighted that VAT implementation undermines business growth and criticized GRA’s aggressive enforcement tactics.
  • Specific difficulties noted in the hardware distribution sector, where VAT implementation resembles double taxation.
  • Retailers pay VAT at the factory and again when selling to consumers, leading to higher prices.
  • Consumers prefer buying from non-registered or lower VAT rate retailers to save costs.
  • VAT is locally referred to as “Fabi Tuudo Ma Aban,” meaning “add to the price for the government.”
  • Businesses face penalties for not collecting VAT, even when consumers prefer non-VAT vendors.
  • Many businesses use profits to pay VAT due to consumer preferences.
  • GRA’s compliance measures, involving armed police and camera crews, make business owners feel criminalized.
  • Trader proposed incorporating VAT into the factory price to ensure uniform pricing and prevent VAT avoidance.
  • Highlighted cumbersome VAT calculations discourage compliance.
  • Discrepancies in VAT-inclusive prices allow buyers to choose cheaper, often unregistered, options.
  • Suggested incorporating VAT into product prices for all distributors to sell at the same price to resolve issues.
  • Cited varying cement prices as an example of problems with the current VAT system.


Note that this post was (partially) written with the help of AI. It is always useful to review the original source material, and where needed to obtain (local) advice from a specialist.


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