GRA closes shops, arrests managers for VAT non-compliance
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has arrested 10 managers of some supermarkets and general merchandise shops in the Awoshie-Anyah Market and Ablekuma enclave in the Greater Accra Region for not complying with Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations.
A task force from the authority visited the shops unannounced after mystery shoppers had earlier visited the shops undercover to establish that the owners were not complying with the law.
The shops visited included the Kelon Mall, Tiealet Wholesale and Brigail Enterprise, all at Ablekuma.
At Awoshie-Anyah Market, the entities closed down for either failing to issue VAT invoices or the selective issuance of the VAT invoice were VKand T Trading Enterprise, Freemago Enterprise, Molla Enterprise, Delcam FB Stationery, Abi Ventures, Jomulet Enterprises and Yemez Ventures.
Speaking to journalists after the exercise yesterday, the Assistant Commissioner of GRA and Head of the Accra Central Enforcement Unit, Joseph Annan, explained that the exercise was part of efforts by the authority to promote voluntary tax compliance and ensure compliance among small and medium-sized businesses.
He said GRA was also carrying out a similar exercise that would target businesses that operated in the next markets to ensure they were complying with the laws.
Also, Mr Annan said business owners who had been arrested in the past for non-compliance would be revisited to find out if they were now complying.
"If we find out that they are not complying then we will classify them as recalcitrant.
We dealt with them leniently when we found them to be non-compliant for the first time but if for the second time we find out that nothing has changed them, we won't be friendly at all," he said
Additionally, Mr Annan said "for those of you who declared profits but failed to pay to the authority, we will also come after you."