Government starts tax stamp policy amidst boycott
Government has stressed that the excise tax stamp policy will not add unto the tax burden of manufacturers and retailers even as it begins to roll out the policy.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the policy will encourage tax compliance while protecting the consuming public against harmful and unwholesome products.
The excise tax stamp among others requires manufacturers to affix stamps on all excisable products.
The stamps are either manually attached after the production process or electronically generated during the production chain.
The move has been met with stiff opposition from some key business associations.
The businesses have expressed worry over a possible rise in prices of such excisable goods.
But speaking at the launch of the product, a Deputy Finance Minister, Kweku Kwarteng explained that his outfit will continue dialogue to reduce any apprehension.
“All the things that have to be done in order to make this policy work will now be done. These will include; how we affix the stamps, how we engage, which other product we will rope in, among others. All those arrangements would have to be done,” he stated.
Mr. Kwarteng added, “Suggestions such as not having enough consultations yet the ministry is rolling the policy out today, we urge the taxpaying business community to exercise patience and to continue engaging with us as they have.”
Following the concerns that the implementation of the tax stamp will add unto the cost of production of businesses, government has initiated measures to reduce the burden.
As a result, the cost in affixing the stamp has been absolved by government from now till June 2018.
Subsequently, government will be expected to bear at least half of the cost between June and December 2018 until it eventually weans itself from bearing any cost.
With this, Kweku Kwarteng is confident the implementing institutions would crack the whip on any business which fails to abide by the directives when the program is rolled out fully.
“The enforcement will be next year when we have done all the work and we are clear in our minds that there is no excuse for anybody not to implement this fully then we will start going to the market to see who are defaulting or otherwise.”