Some Donations to the government of Ghana COVID-19 Fund according to the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) are likely to be omitted due to the scattered nature of data on the fund.
Interestingly, data on donors grouped into individual, according to the Coalition were omitted in the report available during the complilation of the Report on Taxation.
This was disclosed at a media encounter in Accra with support from OXFAM to commission its Taxation Report on COVID-19 Fund.
The outbreak of the pandemic, COVID-19 crisis has had large and serious impacts on government budgets and has generated a fiscal crisis government had to deal with.
Also, 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 curb the spread of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, for effectiveness and results of the studies, the companies where grouped into local and international.
This decision according to the Consultant for the Coalition, John Okyere, is was to assess how many of these multinational companies would utilize the current tax incentives rhough they key beneficiaries of the current tax exemptions.
Presenting the findings on the topic; ‘Cost-Benedit Analysis of The COVID-19 Tax Relief In Ghana, John Okyere outlined a number of benefits and implications of the fund vis-à-vis government’s tax relationship with taxpayers.
However, Ghana likes most developing economies with limited domestic revenues had to rely heavily on external financing courses such as loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
For its serious impact on governments’ revenue, the government of Ghana had to formally appeal to the private sector to support the its efforts by donating cash and other resources including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help fight the virus.
Hence the creation of the COVID-19 Funds which many local and international companies donated to help government handle the pandemic.
And these donations made to the Fund contributed immensely towards government’s response to the pandemic.
If not for the donations which raised $17 million according to the Coalition, government would have borrowed to fight the pandemic.
Indicating that, incentives given to these entities for their donation could potentially build a positive relationship between the government and the business community.
Explaining further, the Coalition Consultant, John Okyere pointed out that, the associated tax incentives partly motivated many to donate to the COVID-19 Fund.
Adding that, such an incentives and act could strengthen the corporate values as many become aware of such contributions.
However, the findings revealed that, “Tax avoidance is very high in Ghana, mainly due to the lack of accurate data on taxpayers”.
to address this menace, the findings indicated that, the problem can partly be addressed by the donations as the tax authority becomes more aware of the donor (companies) and their financial position.
Concluding his presentation, the Coalition Consultant, John Okyere acknowledged that, there is a high possibility of customers viewing donors as a responsible corporate citizen, hence may influence their relationships with such companies”.
He therefore called for more prudent and effective mechanism to monitor and evaluate some of these donations made to the COVID-19 fund, believing this can help the tax authority to track these companies.