The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has clarified that alms received by street beggars do not fall within the taxable threshold.
Street beggars would therefore not pay tax on alms received contrary to an earlier notice served by the Principal Revenue Chief at the Small Tax Payer Office of the GRA in the Northern region, Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed.
Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed had told some journalists that those who carry things on their heads to sell (hawkers) be it cloth or consumables, “we will tax them, how much more people who earn daily.”
“GRA taxes foreigners in town and by law the beggars fall within the taxable threshold,” Alhaji Mohammed stressed, adding that those into alms taking as a form of business and a “hobby” should be ready to pay tax on their earnings,” Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed insisted.
However in a statement signed and issued by Kwasi Bobie-Ansah, Assistant Commissioner in charge of Communication and Public Affairs Department on Monday evening, the GRA explained that street beggars do not fall within the tax threshold.
Below is the statement
“GRA TO TAX STREET BEGGERS”
The Ghana Revenue Authority wishes to react to reports in the media that the Authority intends to tax street beggers among others previously not captured in the tax net in its bid to widen the tax net.
The Authroity wishes to inform the general public with regards to the position of the law on taxation of persons as stated in the Income Tax Act 2015, ( Act 896) as follows:
- The Income Tax Act 2015, ( Act 896) states that the chargeable income of a person for a year of assessment is the total of the assessable income of that person for the year from each employment, business or investment.
- The Act also indicates that when a person has no chargeable income or the income is below the taxable threshold, the person is not expected to pay tax and therefore does not file tax returns.
With regards to the above therefore, it must be stated that alms received by beggers on the street does not fall within the taxable threshold. They therefore do not pay tax on the alms received.
While GRA encourages staff to actively mobilise revenue for the state , the Authority does not encourage them to pursue taxes that may appropriately be considered as nuisance.
The Commissioner-General therefore wishes to assure the general public that the GRA implements only laws passed by Parliament and will not carry out activities that have no legal backing.
For: Commissioner – General
Commuincation & Public Affairs Department (CPA)
Source: Graphic Online