Suspend Lottery Taxes In Mid-Year Budget Review
– CSBO Urges Ken Ofori-Atta
The Coalition of Small Business Owners(CSBO), through its convener, Mr. Justice Ayeh Donkor, is urging the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to use the 2023 Mid-Year Budget Review, slated for today, to suspend all the taxes imposed on Lottery and Sports Betting companies and their customers.
According to the group, the taxes on Lottery and Sports Betting companies are undermining private sector growth, thereby collapsing businesses.
Speaking in an interview with the media over the weekend in Accra, Mr. Donkor said, “the 20% and 10% respective taxes on the revenue of Lottery/Sports Betting companies and winnings of the staking is a complete disaster and retrogressive policy.”
He indicated that, so far, the government of President Akufo-Addo has imposed almost 22 burden taxes on the businesses and the people of Ghana, a hostile business environment which is not the best for the private sector.
In his opinion, he said “The Government is becoming highly insensitive to the plight of businessmen in the country.”
According to him, “The 20% and 10% taxes on Lottery/Sports Betting would go a long way to collapse the business of the National Lottery Authority and Lotto Marketing Companies.”
In 2015, Act 896, a withholding tax of 5%, was imposed on the winnings of lottery. In 2016, the Income Tax Amendment Act 907 exempted the first GHS2,592 and any excess winning above the GHS2,592 was taxable at 5%., he noted.
Mr. Donkor recalled that the NPP, then in opposition, promised lotto marketing companies to remove those taxes, and even restore the Retailer Commission to 25% for the LMCS. However, the current NPP administration has failed to honour such promises.
In 2017, the National Lottery Authority (NLA) made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for the scrapping of taxes as a way of attracting more mainstream operators. The taxes were then removed.
Fast forward to 2023, the government has reintroduced the taxes, even this time around, at the extreme wicked rates of 20% on company’s revenue and 10% on winnings respectively.
The development, he stressed, if not addressed, would collapse the already struggling Ghanaian economy, and, therefore, urged these taxes should be scrapped immediately.
“We are calling on Ken Ofori-Atta and the government to immediately suspend the 20% and 10% taxes imposed on Lottery and Sports Betting Companies and winnings respectively.
“We shall resist the oppressor taxes at all cost and also demonstrate against the government and Ken Ofori-Atta” the group promised.