#CitiBusinessFestival: MSMEs exempted from taxes must still file returns

A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, has advised Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to file annual returns on their income to the Registrar General’s Department even when exempted from paying taxes.

MSMEs are required to pay taxes to facilitate development initiatives, but young entrepreneurs [less than 35 years] engaged in manufacturing, horticulture, ICT are exempted from paying taxes for the first five years.

Mr. Ali-Nakyea on the on-air series of the Citi Business Festival on the Citi Breakfast Show said filing returns on income even during tax exemptions will keep the Ghana Revenue Authority informed on the effects of the exemptions and the way forward.

“When we are talking about auditing, we are seeking an independent opinion on your financial statements. How well you have kept records. It also serves to educate and guide you on how to keep your records better, and so the exemption does not absolve you from filing returns.”

“When you file returns, it helps the revenue authority to see the impact of the exemption on your operation, so I keep advocating that even when you have an exemption, you are still required to file a return, and that helps in making policy, and also gathering data on the impact of certain taxes on businesses,” Mr. Ali-Nakyea said.

His point was reiterated by Registrar General Jemima Oware who was also a guest during the discussion. According to her, companies that fail to file their returns would lose their place on the records of registered companies, and can only be restored through legal action.

He was speaking on the theme:

Annual Returns

Annual Returns is a means of reporting the current status of a company to the respective regulators. It is considered a necessity since it also indicates a renewal of registration. It is required to be filed every year at the Registrar General’s Department.

Annual returns is a requirement for all businesses, irrespective of the type of business. During the filing of annual returns, the business has to report any changes that may have occurred over a period.

For instance, changes in the business name, activities, shareholder(s), director(s), auditors, and address of the principal place of business etc. An annual returns form has to be completed to reflect any of the above changes.

About the Citi Business Festival

The Citi Business Festival is an extensive program of business events and on-air activities providing inspiration, business ideas, and information to persons who are starting, building, or growing their businesses.

This year’s edition is hinged on five thematic areas, namely:

Week 1: Digital Economy – Building a cashless society and the opportunities for business and job creation.

Week 2: Doing business in Ghana.

Week 3: AgriBusiness – Feeding Ghana with a sound import substitution strategy.

Week 4: Trade –  AfCFTA: Opportunities for investment & Job creation in Ghana.

Week 5: Oil and Gas  – The opportunities for indigenous businesses.

There will be virtual business fora live on Citi TV every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm for the entire month.

The radio on-air series, from Monday to Thursday on the Citi Breakfast Show, is themed to correspond with the virtual fora.

The Citi Business Festival is sponsored by Absa Bank Ghana with support from IT Consortium and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

It is also powered by Citi FM, Citi TV, and Ghana’s most comprehensive business news website, www.citibusinessnews.com.


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