Exporters have been advised to apply for a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund on their exports to reduce their cost of doing business which will also give them advantage over their competitors in the West African sub-region.
By law, when exporters incur additional costs in terms of VAT payment on the purchase of materials in packaging and processing at least 25 per cent of their goods for export, they are entitled to a tax waiver after shipment.
But according to Revenue Officer Akwesi Osei Nkrumah of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), most exporters have not taken advantage of the tax refund facility to boost their businesses because they are not well informed of its availability.
“In fact, some exporters have been enjoying that facility for years but considering the numbers, l think that the people that come to our offices for this funds are very few. The numbers are not encouraging at all, so we encourage all exporters to go to our various offices and retrieve their VAT,” he advised
Mr Nkrumah gave the advice at this year’s Exporters Forum on October 4 organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority for exporters and other stakeholders in the export sector to chart the way forward to boost the sector.
He said the GRA will create awareness on the refund facility so that more exporters can take advantage of it to cut down the cost of doing business.
Speaking to BusinessWeek, the president of the Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana (VEPEAG), Mr Daniel Aladi, noted that some members of his association are benefiting from the refund facility.
But he was quick to add that a large majority are also reluctant to apply for it because of the laborious and bureaucratic procedures they go through with officials of the GRA to be able to reclaim what is legally due them.
Mr. Aladi, who also doubles as the Managing Director of Volta Veg, appealed to the GRA to make the processing of the tax refund less cumbersome to enable more exporters access it.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Samson Asaki Awingobit, told BusinessWeek his outfit will work with other stakeholders to create more awareness on the availability of the VAT refund on goods for export to its members.
Source: Romeo Adzah || Businessweek