We’re not interested in collapsing businesses — GRA
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said it is not interested in collapsing businesses of companies that owe taxes.
Rather, it said officials were supporting businesses to grow by engaging them in best practices of meeting their tax obligations and creating employment opportunities.
The Commissioner-General of the GRA, Rev. Dr Ammishaddai Owusu Amoah, said this when he toured B5 Plus Limited, an iron and steel manufacturing company that took over from the liquidated United Steel company limited.
The GRA put up United Steel for sale in 2020 when the company was in financial distress and owed an outstanding tax liability principle of over GH¢149 million with interest and penalties accrued from 2018 hitting over GH¢400 million.
Additionally, the company owed some banks and other creditors.
During that period, the GRA locked up the factory three times and still the company could not meet the negotiated conditions.
The GRA being the largest creditor, appointed a liquidator - Ghana Association of Restructuring and Insolvency, to liquidate the company to offset the debts.
After conducting due diligence, competitive bids were opened and B5 Plus, a steel manufacturing company, won.
Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah commended the new managers for revamping the company and said the full taxes had now been paid after the liquidation.
After B5 Plus took over, Rev. Dr Owusu-Amoah said, the administrator applied to take advantage of a waiver of penalties which was in place at the time and paid the tax liabilities in full.
When asked if the GRA would be adopting the same strategy for companies owing taxes, Dr Owusu-Amoah said the authority would use compliance measures available to it in the law, saying “we are ready to implement it to the letter”.
He, however, said any action taken would not be to collapse a company in distress, but explore measures to revive it.
The Chief Executive Officer of B5 Plus Limited, Mukesh Thakwani, said the company had invested more than $35 million to revamp the factory and that in the next two years, it aimed at increasing the production line by investing another $10 million.
He also said the company currently had 420 workers, and hopes to increase it to 500 when it begins full production.
Mr Thakwani further said the company was not only targeting the West Africa sub regional market, but the entire Africa region by taking advantage of AfCFTA.
He lauded the government for creating a favourable investment climate but, however, called for a ban on imported products that competed with locally manufactured goods.
B5 Plus Limited is into the production of iron rod, wire rod, nails and other steel products.