“Engage contractors in development policies” (Saturday, July 24, 2010, pg 29)

THE National President of the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Mr Edward Kwao Amanor, has called on the government to engage the association in the development of  policies and programmes that affect the construction sector to ensure that the implementation of such polices do not run into difficulties.

He said "we are stakeholders in the sector and, therefore, it is necessary that we are engaged to voice  out anything that affect us. When we are informed, it makes things easy when confronted with difficulties."

Mr Amanor was speaking at a seminar organised by the  Adabraka office of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Service as part of its monthly engagement of its stakeholders on the need for all businesses to comply with the VAT Law and also encouraged qualified businesses to register and ultimately reduce the number of defaulters.

The programme is also aimed at clarifying, to the participants, aspects of the VAT Act amendment in 2002 that concerns the building and construction industry .

Prior to the amendment, the design and building of public infrastructure and services supplied in the course construction were not taxable but the amendment now made it mandatory for the payment of VAT on works including preliminary, main and associated infrastructure works which include site clearing, excavation,  wall erection,  and all forms of installations.

Mr Amanor bemoaned the association's inadequate representation on the various boards that regulate the industry.

He also appealed to the government to review the present tax regime and mentioned that "the building and construction industry is seriously at a disadvantage considering the fact that foreign contractors enjoy a lot of tax relief much to the disadvantage of their local counterparts."

A Tax Audit Supervisor of the VAT Service, Mr David Bansah, in a presentation said "unlike the Sales and Service Tax which was collected at a single point, VAT is charged and collected bits along the distribution- chain of goods and services."

"Thus, beginning from the manufacturer/importer to the wholesaler through to the retailer. It should be noted that, however that, the final consumer wherever he or she is tracked along the distribution-chain bears the sum aggregate tax."

 He gave the different types of taxes operating in the country as direct and indirect taxes.
He explained that “ where as direct taxes are paid directly by the tax payer, the indirect tax are collected through an agent to the government."

"Direct taxes are imposed on a person’s earnings, income or wealth paid by the individual to whom the income or wealth accrues, example gift tax and income tax while, indirect taxes are imposed on goods and services paid by consumers or receivers of such goods and services, for example VAT and customs duty,” Mr Bansah added.

Another Tax Audit Supervisor of the VAT Service, Mr Salifu Wumbei, in a presentation on the "Aspects and  Mechanics of the VAT Act and the Building and Construction Industry," stated that contractors that fulfilled their VAT obligations stood the chance to fulfil statutory requirements to bid for large public (government) sector contracts.



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