Parliament passes four tax amendment bills

16.03.17

Mr Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

Parliament Wednesday passed four tax amendment bills under a certificate of urgency to give tax cuts to businesses and reduce the cost of doing business in the country.

The bills are the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017. The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presented the bills to Parliament last Tuesday and the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, subsequently referred the bills to the Finance Committee of Parliament for consideration and report. At yesterday’s sitting, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, presented the committee's report, and said the committee determined that the bills were of an urgent nature and must be taken through all the stages of passage in one day, in accordance with Order 119 of the Standing Orders of Parliament. Subsequently, Mr Ofori-Atta moved the motion for the bills to be taken through the stages of passage.

Purposes of bills

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017 amended the Special Import Levy Act, 2014 (Act 861) to remove the levy payable on specific imported goods. The aim is to remove the one per cent Special Levy on some specific goods. With the Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, it amended the Special Petroleum Tax Act, 2014 (Act 879) to reduce the rate of the Special Petroleum Tax on petroleum products from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent. The Special Import Levy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 amended the Special Import Levy, Act, 2013 (Act 861) to remove the levy payable on specific imported goods. The Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill, 2017 repealed the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) Act, 2005 (Act 685) to remove the rates of excise duty on petroleum products.

Minister of Finance

Mr Ofori-Atta told journalists that the passage of the tax amendment bills would free up the rigidities that the government had identified in the system.

Source: Daily Graphic