Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has revealed in its 2017 Tax Administration and Tax Evasion report, statutory taxes on about US$6billion worth of gold exported from Ghana between 2013-2016 went unreported as a result of smuggling.
According to the energy policy think-tank, the loss in revenue was caused by loopholes in the system which enabled gold smuggling through the small-scale mining sector.
Some of these loopholes, according to the report, include weak export control at the borders of neighbouring countries, lack of motivation for citizens to report activities of smugglers, and poor enforcement of penalties for offenders.
ACEP’s Executive Director, Benjamin Boakye, told media that the taxes lost could be a minimum of US$180million in withholding taxes, “assuming it all came from the small-scale sector, adding that “it could be more for the large-scale sector.”
Also, about 95 percent 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.
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