The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has expressed its willingness to tax operators of illegal gold miners, popular called ‘galamsey’ but says it is finding it extremely difficult to implement such an initiative.
As a result, the authority has decided to impose a three percent withholding tax on patrons of their proceeds, which it is collecting from buyers of unprocessed minerals in the country.
A Deputy Commissioner in charge of Policy and Programmes, Mr Edward Gyamerah, said this at the Graphic Business – Stanbic Breakfast Meeting on the Income Tax Act, Act 896 in Accra on Tuesday.
“At the Minerals Commission, the registered small scale miners is only 2,000 but the illegal miners is in the region of hundreds of thousands. How to get them to tax is now the problem,” Mr Gyamerah said.
As a result, Mr Gyamerah said the authority had decided to appeal to purchasers of unprocessed minerals from the country, whose clients are mostly the illegal miners, to withhold three percent of their purchasing costs as tax to the GRA.
“But we have told the buyers not to let the galamsey people know that they are withholding part else they will run into hiding,” he added.
He was hopeful the new arrangement will help ensure that the nation benefits from the growing wealth galamsey operations.
In 2014, small scale, artisanal and illegal gold mining accounted for 34 pee cent the country’s gold output.