In response to the recent directive by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) mandating the payment of Vehicle Income Tax (VIT) by ride-hailing vehicle owners, the Ghana Online Drivers Union (GODU) of T.U.C has strongly opposed the move, highlighting concerns and asserting a lack of prior consultation.
Francis Kweku Tengi, the National Chairman of GODU, expressed the union's discontent with the GRA's decision, pointing out the absence of prior consultation with stakeholders.
“We disagree with this directive, though we know that as responsible citizens, we help to build our nation through taxes, but we also know that in the long run, the VIT will be borne by the drivers.”
GODU emphasized the lack of consultation or collaboration in the decision-making process, similar to the imposition of a 21.9% Value-Added Tax (VAT) on their commission by the GRA from July 1, 2023.
The union argues that there is no legislative instrument regulating the ride-hailing sector as a commercial entity, rendering the taxation of their operations illegitimate.
Uncertainty about the actual cost of the Vehicle Income Tax further complicates the drivers' understanding and acceptance of the directive. Technical challenges with the shortcode *222# for verifying their vehicles add to their concerns.
Additionally, GODU expresses uncertainty regarding the impact of the required update by the GRA from ride-hailing companies on their daily operations.
The union appeals to the GRA to delay the implementation date until proper collaboration is established with the union. However, should the GRA proceed without addressing their concerns, GODU outlines potential actions:
In the face of dissatisfaction, the drivers threaten a nationwide strike as a measure to protest the directive.
Contemplating adjusting operational costs and initiating fare negotiations directly with riders to compensate for the additional tax burden imposed.
In response to the perceived neglect by ride-hailing companies, the union suggests the exploration of alternative local apps to promote made-in-Ghana goods and services.