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Minister for Finance Launches Tax Stamp Policy

Accra, August 31, 2017 - The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said through the use of tax stamps, government seeks to partner businesses that may have fallen victim to product counterfeiting to fight the anti-business phenomenon.
He said, the Tax Stamp Policy is part of government’s efforts to address the counterfeiting of products on the market and improve revenue generation and ensure that more businesses pay taxes.
Ken Ofori Atta made these remarks at the launch of the Tax Stamp Policy at the Best Western Premier Hotel.
“Once the Tax Stamp Policy has been adequately rolled out, government will lead the campaign to remind consumers that patronage of products that ought to have tax stamps, but do not have tax stamps is unsafe and that consumers patronize such items at their own risk,” he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said when the enforcement of the tax stamp policy starts, products that are required to carry the stamps but do not carry the stamps would be removed from the market and the appropriate sanctions imposed on offenders.
The Minister said government would continue to work closely with traders and manufacturers from now to the close of the year to finalize arrangements for the affixing of the stamps by businesses that are required to do so.
He said while the Excise Tax Stamp Act requires businesses to bear the cost of the stamps and gives freedom to government to subsidies the cost, government however, would from January 1, 2018 to June 30 2018 bear the entire cost of the stamps supplied to businesses.
Also, between June and the close of the year 2018 government will still bear half the cost of the stamps. Thereafter, Government will review its position on the cost burden of the stamps.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said the implementation of the stamp policy would go a long way to protect consumers from the negative consequences of the consumption of counterfeit products. He said the stamp would also help stem the tide of smuggling.
The Commissioner General of GRA, Emmanuel Kofi Nti, said the implementation of the Excise Tax Stamp Policy seeks to control the importation and local production of excisable goods for revenue purposes, check under-declaration of goods and check illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of excisable products.
He said the Tax Stamp is not an introduction of a new tax, rather a new way of administering the already existing excise tax.
Mr. Nti said the Tax Stamp would enable GRA to effectively monitor the payment of Excise Tax to ensure that the correct quantum of tax is paid.
He said GRA would between now and the end of the year mount an intensive public education on the implementation of the policy.
He urged local manufacturers and importers of excisable products to register with the GRA to enable them obtain the stamp.
To ensure a smooth transition, Mr. Nti said importers, wholesalers and retailers would need to clear the stocks of excisable goods without the stamp before the effective date of implementation.
He said persons who display, sell or distribute excise goods without a stamp at the end of the transitional period would be punished according to the law with a fine not exceeding 300 per cent of the duties and taxes involved or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or to both.
Professor George Yaw Gyan-Baffour, the Minister for Planning, who chaired the launch ceremony emphasized that the Tax Stamp was not a new tax but a simple measure aimed at checking the loopholes in the administration of excise tax in the country. END
Source: Public Relations Unit


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