Ghana Loses Tax On $6bn Gold Export

Ghana lost taxes on $6 billion worth of gold exported between 2013 and 2016 through smuggling. This is contained in the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) 2017 Tax Administration and Tax Evasion report.
According to the energy experts, the loss in revenue was caused by the loopholes in the system which facilitated gold smuggling through the illegal small-scale mining activities.
Some of these loopholes, according to the report, include bad export control at the borders, lack of patriotic citizens to report activities of smugglers and poor enforcement of penalties for offenders.
ACEP’s Executive Director, Benjamin Boakye, said that the taxes lost could be a minimum of US$180 million in withholding taxes, “assuming it all came from the small-scale section.”
Also, about 95 per cent of small-scale miners said they had never received tax certification for withholding payments made to gold buyers, which is believed to be one of the factors influencing tax evasion, coupled with money laundering activities.
Speaking at a stakeholder forum on addressing gaps and ensuring efficiency in tax revenue mobilisation in Accra, Mr Benjamin Boakye said, “About US$6 billion of gold exported from Ghana to India, Dubai and Switzerland between 2013 and 2016 has not been reported, and this was revealed by these countries because they have systems in place to track all these transactions which Ghana does not have.”
He added that strict measures should be put in place to check gold smuggling, if government is to meet its GH¢5.2 million revenue target for the small-scale mining sector.
He further made recommendations that would aid in addressing the issue of tax evasion in the small-scale mining sector and stressed the need for a flat-rate tax to be applied on all small-scale miners, and strengthen collaboration between the Ghana Revenue Authority, Bank of Ghana and Minerals Commission.

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