The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) released a report on COVID-19 Fund today. The coalition used the opportunity to brief the media on the taxation report commissioned by the Coalition on COVID-19 with support from OXFAM.
According to the GACC, due to the scattered nature of data on the donations, there is the possibility that some donations into the COVID-19 Fund may be omitted.
The Coalition stated that donors into the COVID-19 Fund were grouped into individual, which were omitted in the report available, local and international or multinational companies.
“The decision to group the companies into local and international was to assess how many of the multinational companies, thus key beneficiaries of the current tax exemptions will take advantage of the current tax incentive,” GACC disclosed.
In the presentation by the Consultant for the Association, Mr . John Okyere on the topic ‘Cost-Benefit Analysis of The Covid-19 Tax Relief In Ghana’, he catalogued a number of benefits and implication of the fund vis-à-vis government’s tax relationship with taxpayers.
The COVID-19 crisis has had large impacts on government budgets and generated a fiscal crisis, as well as has forced almost all governments around the world to reduce budgets in some essential services in order to meet the healthcare needs of the population.
With the limited domestic revenue, Ghana like most developing economies have had to rely heavily on external financing courses such as loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
At the peak of the pandemic, the Ghanaian government made a formal appeal to the private sector to support the government’s effort by donating cash and other resources including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help fight the virus.
The donation into the COVID-19 funds has contributed immensely towards the government’s response efforts to the pandemic.
The report on COVID-19 Fund by the Coalition indicated that donations raised into the COVID-19 Fund amounted to $17 million, which the government may have to borrow should the entities not given out to the fund, adding that the incentives could potentially build a positive relationship between the government and the business community.
The GACC noted that the donation which could partly be motivated by the associated tax incentives could strengthen corporate values as people become aware of such contributions.
“Tax avoidance is very high in Ghana, mainly due to the lack of accurate data about taxpayers. However, this problem can be partly addressed by the donations as the tax authority becomes more aware of donor (companies) and their financial position.
With the growing ethical consumerism in Ghana, there is a high possibility that customers may view donors as a responsible corporate citizen, which may influence their relationships with such companies,” the Coalition noted.
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