Tax Planning: the way to go for Ghanaian Businesses – Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea

Tax Planning: the way to go for Ghanaian Businesses – Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law and a Tax expert, has encouraged businesses in the country to actively practice tax planning to keep them afloat in these current economic times.

Speaking at a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of Chartered Accountants of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) Sunyani District Society in Sunyani, on Friday, 28 th October, 2022 at Eusbett Hotel, Dr. Ali-Nakyea emphasized the point that since governments rely on taxes paid by businesses to run the economy even in difficult times, it is imperative that Ghanaian businesses make it an essential part of their business activities to practice tax planning in order not to be overwhelmed.

“Even though the state may introduce some interventions during a recession, it still ensures that measures are put in place to mobilize as much taxes as possible. Therefore, relying on tax planning as a business would allow the entities to anticipate circumstances and identify opportunities to minimize or defer tax liabilities, while playing their part in creating revenue for the country”, he said.

Dr. Ali-Nakyea’s presentation, themed “The Practicality of Tax Planning”, highlighted ways businesses can identify taxable opportunities that are beneficial to their business growth. The session was organized by the ICAG Sunyani District Society.

“Tax planning is a crucial part of any business’ operations, and applied to manage its financial affairs in a way that the business pays as little tax as possible and directly or indirectly improves their business’ operations. Tax planning involves; taking advantage of tax opportunities in the tax law, and taking advantage of opportunities provided by the law”, he noted.

According to Dr. Ali-Nakyea, tax planning is not a daunting task, but rather an easy, conscious and consistent activity that yields fruitful results for any business, especially in these trying times. “Planning one’s taxes is not necessarily a daunting task and in its very basic form, starts with; keeping proper books of accounts to avoid penalties, truthfully recording and keeping accounts and relevant records, submitting regular annual returns, lodging tax objections within statutory time limits, paying taxes on time, arranging acceptable basis period, and holding regular meetings with your Tax Advisors during one’s budgeting period and as often as possible”, he noted.

He also entreated Ghanaian business owners to scale up their knowledge on the current tax laws in the country, granting them a clearer understanding of their tax liabilities and benefits under the law, “The first step in tax planning is to acknowledge that there is more to tax liabilities than corporate tax. Apart from corporate tax, businesses pay Value Added Tax (VAT), Communication Service Tax (CST), National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), Ghana Education Trust Fund Levy (GETFL), Covid-19 Health Recovery Levy (CHRL), Property Tax, Statutory charges, Import duties, Levies, Fees, and other taxable services. Having an appreciation of all the taxes payable could make the business recognize the significance of the “non-income” or “indirect taxes”. Businesses therefore must understand their total tax liabilities in order to strategize appropriately”, he said.”