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Taxation In Ghana GRA backtracks; says street beggars won’t pay tax

In a statement issued, the GRA said: "it must be stated that alms received by beggers on the street does not fall within the taxable threshold. They, therefore, do not pay tax on the alms received.”

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has denied claims that it has plans to tax street beggars as part of its nationwide effort to widen the tax net and raise more revenue.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, the GRA said: "The income tax Act 2015 (Act 896) states that the chargeable income of a person for a year of assessment is the total of the assessable income of that person for the year for each employment, or investment.”

 

“The act also indicates that when a person has no chargeable income or when the income is below the taxable threshold, the person is not expected to pay tax and therefore does not file tax returns.”

"With regards to the above, therefore, it must be stated that alms received by beggers on the street does not fall within the taxable threshold. They, therefore, do not pay tax on the alms received,” the statement noted.

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“The Authority wishes to inform the general public with regards to the position of the GRA, while it encourages staff to actively mobilise revenue for the state, the Authority does not encourage them to pursue taxes that may appropriately be considered a nuisance.”

This comes after the Principal Revenue Chief at the Small Tax Payer Office of the GRA in the Northern region Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed told the media that the GRA will be taxing street beggars as part of its plans to widen the tax net.

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He said that this particular exercise will target individuals, especially women selling Dubai Wax prints and other imports through door-to-door and neighboring nationals trading on bicycles in the Northern region.

Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed explained that some of those on the streets are earning more than other people who are taxed often hence the need for the street beggars and hawkers to pay taxes as well.

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