Small-scale miners threaten nationwide ‘demo’ over 10% withholding tax

Small- scale miners are threatening a nationwide demonstration if government fails to review a 10 per cent withholding tax on processed gold which they say could collapse businesses.

They are set to petition Parliament and other relevant agencies after initial discussions with the Ghana Revenue Authority failed address their concerns.

The parent body of the miners, Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners says government’s action is crippling the already unpredictable mining sector.

The association says the 10 percent withholding tax currently being charged on gold is unplanned and not well categorized to target the chain of producers at the local level.

General Secretary of the small-scale miners association Godwin Armah tells Luv News such tax on every ounce of gold has the tendency to collapse the industry and encourage smuggling of the commodity across borders.

“We don’t have what we call the geo data, if you compare to the large scale where they know the reserves they have underground, we don’t know. We are mining blindly-is what we call like, try your luck. Let’s say I invest x-amount into it and I win some gold out, if you look at the costings before I get that amount of gold, it will marvel you”. Mr Armah said.

According to him, the withholding tax concept will push several of the association’s members out of business since they will not break-even.

“Most of our people don’t break even. I’m going to sell at a loss and I’m being charged ten percent again as withholding tax so if I take 500 grams I lose 50 grams. So gradually people will just go out of business, because you can’t survive”. He lamented.

Attempts to get the GRA to replace the withholding tax with a proposed quarterly income tax regime yielded no positive results, he says.

“We petitioned the GRA, we will also get to the parliamentary select committee, to let them know the impact analyses of this tax on the small scale mining industry and then after that, minerals commission will be given a copy of the petition and then the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. After discussing it if nothing is done, then we have no option than to let people know by hitting the streets or picketing around the ministry of Finance until they listen to us.”He noted.

The miners have been discussing the issue at a meeting at Wassa –Akropong in the Western Region.

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