Gold bars
Gold bars

Gold export from Ghana worth six billion US Dollars between 2013 and 2016 were unaccounted for due to the porosity in Ghana’s tax administration, policy think tank Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) revealed here on Tuesday.

Executive Director for ACEP, Benjamin Boakye noted that the gold exported to Dubai, India and Switzerland had not been recorded in the national gold export data.

“This is largely attributed to structural defects in assessing the output of the small-scale sector and illegal trade which occurs at the blind side of regulation,” Boakye pointed out.

This position he added had been noted since 2015 by the Bank of Ghana, for which reason the Bank intervened to limit exports of gold to such countries.

Mineral export revenue from the West African gold, cocoa and oil exporter hit 5.94 million dollars in 2017 alone while the sector’s Corporate Tax receipts increased 39 percent to 969.6 million Ghana cedis in 2017, from 696.9 million cedis in 2016,” the report disclosed.

Boakye explained to Xinhua later in an interview that the situation was a culmination of Tax policy inconsistencies; Money laundering; Weak export borders in neighboring countries; and Favorable taxation in neighboring countries

Small-scale miners took advantage of these prevailing environment to indulge in illegal gold export was as the Ghana Revenue Authority’s(GRA) was also unable to ensure proper taxation scheme for the small scale mining sector, according to the analyst.

Authorities had been lethargic in efforts to ensure that small scale miners paid tax on their production, since the sector looks very complex. The Income Tax policy of 2015 imposed a 10 percent Flat Rate income tax on the sector, but due to agitations this was reduced to three percent but has never been implemented.

“If we look at six billion dollars, at least with a three percent flat rate income tax on that figure the country should have received nothing less than 180 million dollars in tax revenue,” Boakye observed.

According to him, 95 percent of the small scale-miners ACEP interacted with never received tax certificates for the three percent withholdings payments for the gold buyers.

The think tank also revealed that t some gold exporters also colluded with importers of general merchandise to use proceeds from gold exports to import general goods which they sold at a profit and use proceeds to purchase more gold for export.

“If these proceeds were all returning to the country through the legal and appropriate channels, there would be bank charges and other benefits which would all contribute to strengthening of the economy,” Boakye added.

The think tank therefore urged that the proposed flat rate tax scheme for the small scale mining sector be activated and implemented in order to increase revenue generation from mining for the country.

In 2016 small-scale mining contributed 34 percent to total gold output for that year.

Nii Adjetey Kofi Mensah, Executive Director of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Networks explained in an interview that the flat rate scheme was actually proposed by the small-scale miners themselves, and they were ever ready to comply whenever government started implementation.

He explained however that the moratorium placed on small-scale mining since last year was the immediate cause of the delay in the implementation. Enditem

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.