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Deputy Finance Minister-Designate endorses betting tax, says it’s not new

Dr Alexander Ampaabeng, the Deputy Finance Minister-Designate, has declared his endorsement of the betting tax being implemented by the Government.

The Nominee made this known in his response to questions during his vetting at the public sitting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra.

Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Techiman North, had asked the nominee what his position was on the concept and implementation of the betting tax.

Betting tax is a tax on betting transactions by operators with customers.

Dr Ampaabeng, a tax expert, reiterated that the tax was not new, and said it was introduced in 2015 by Ghana’s Parliament as part of Act 891 (Customs Acts, 2015).

It was amended again as Act 907 (Income Tax Amendment Act, 2016), he stated.

He noted that the difference between Act 907 and the current provision (Act 1094) was that in Act 907, there was a GHS2,590.00 exempt amounts, which meant a gambler would not be taxed until he made
it in excess of GHS2,590.00.

‘What this current tax means is that it seeks to take away that exemption minimum. Betting tax is not new across the African continent, especially in East Africa,’ Dr Ampaabeng said.

‘My position on it, as an individual and as a tax person, sitting here looking for revenue opportunities for the country, I think the betting tax presents a revenue potential for the country.’

The Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2023 (Act 1094) introduces a withholding tax of?10 per cent on all winnings.

Winnings from betting, lottery, and games of chance are subject to the withholding tax at the point of payout.

Touching on expanding the tax net to cover online businesses, he aid it was time for Ghanaians to rethink through it and assess the options.

He underscored the need to ensure that the Government did not lose the huge revenue potentials going on online.

Source: Ghana News Agency