The Coalition of Small Business Owners (CSBO) is urging Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to suspend the taxes imposed on Lottery and Sports Betting companies and their customers.
This follows the announcement of 20% and 10% taxes on the revenue of Lottery/Sports Betting Companies and winnings respectively.
According to the convener of the group, Justice Ayeh Donkor, the lottery and sports betting taxes are undermining private sector growth and collapsing businesses.
Since assuming office in 2016, the Akufo-Addo-led government has introduced about 22 taxes, this, the group argues has created a hostile business environment which is affecting the private sector.
“Government is becoming highly insensitive to the plight of businessmen in the country. The 20% and 10% taxes on Lottery/Sports Betting would go a long way to collapse the business of the National Lottery Authority and Lotto Marketing Companies,” he stressed.
In 2015, a withholding tax of 5%, under Act 896, was imposed on the winnings of a lottery.
In 2016, the Income Tax Amendment Act 907 exempted the first ¢2,592 while any excess winning above ¢2,592 was taxable at 5%.
But Mr Ayeh Donkor says, “The NPP then in opposition promised Lotto Marketing Companies to remove those taxes and even restore the Retailer Commission to 25% for the LMCS but the NPP Government has failed to honour these promises.”
He explained that in 2017, the National Lottery Authority made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance for the scrapping of taxes as a way of attracting more mainstream operators. The taxes were subsequently removed.
However, in 2023, the Government reintroduced the taxes now at a new rate of 20% on the company’s revenue and 10% on winnings respectively.
In view of this, the group is “calling on Ken Ofori-Atta and government to immediately suspend the 20% and 10% taxes imposed on Lottery and Sports Betting companies and winnings respectively.
“We shall resist these taxes at all cost and also demonstrate against the Government and Ken Ofori-Atta should the Finance Minister fail to address the issue during the Mid-Year Budget review”.