The Ghanaian media has been “faithful” – never once have they failed to publish a story on bribery and corruption. It almost makes it appear and some have already concluded that it is quite impossible to do business in Ghana without bribery. But is that truly the case?
Current trends and major forecasts (including that from the IMF) suggest that African countries will occupy the highest positions of the economic growth to be experienced in the next decade and thus, we see several companies from North America, Europe and Asia expanding into African countries.
Quite a big chunk of bribes are borne out of ignorance and negligence and most companies will do themselves a favor if they actually understood the tax laws and what constitutes a breach and what they are legally not liable for. Perhaps there is something to be learnt from these companies thronging to take advantages of opportunities where all the locals see is “challenges”. So what is it they do that local companies are not doing?
Get professional tax advisory help
One of the key areas Multinationals/Investors focus on when establishing their businesses in new territories especially in Africa is on tax advisory. Investors/Multinationals want to know how much of the monies they earn can be kept and how much of it goes to the Government in the form of taxes.
Make sure you are compliant
For those months that cash flow does not even allow to pay salaries, always ensure that you don’t default on your monthly statutory payments. While employees may understand to have their salaries delayed for a reasonable period of time, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will penalize you heavily for even a day that you are late in paying. While no statutory agency desires to see businesses collapse, many ventures have been hit so hard with some tax liabilities which have caused them to shut their doors. When in doubt, always consult a tax advisor and this doesn’t need to cost you an arm and leg.
Did you know that over 70% of all bribes are paid to people whose responsibility it is to get a job that they are being paid for done? In their course on Demystifying taxes, tax advisors from PWC and GRA take participants through all the different taxes that apply to businesses, the tax windows and how companies can get exemptions.
“It’s amazing, what you don’t know CAN really kill you” – those were the words of a business owner who participated in the course. He mentioned he didn’t even know he could claim credit for years that his business made losses. Others were excited to know how they could use the provision of the Free Zones and the allowances that Government grants to Real Estate Developers and businesses that are sited in peri-urban areas.
Want to know how your business can avoid paying bribes?