GRA summons business captains over VAT infractions
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has invited the managers of 11 companies in East Legon to assist in investigations pertaining the non-issuance and selective issuance of VAT receipts as part of efforts to ensure voluntary compliance of tax laws.
While the manager of Han Sen Decor City at East Legon was arrested for selective issuance of VAT invoice to clients, the operators of another shop at Bawaleshie are alleged to have locked up their shop upon a tip-off during a special VAT enforcement exercise in the area.
The Manager of the Accra Central Enforcement Unit of the GRA, Assistant Commissioner, Joseph Annan, speaking to journalists at the end of the third week of the enforcement exercise which has led to the arrest and clamping of a number of businesses in various parts of Accra for non-compliant VAT businesses, said the operation wiould continue till full compliance with the tax law was achieved.
During the enforcement exercise, the taskforce from the GRA in collaboration with the Police Service visited 12 businesses, namely Han Sen Decor City at East Legon, Boost electronics, De’lish Restaurant, Heiress & Flair, Relay express laundry/dry cleaning services, Gifred Shopping Center, Juliejoan - Ashfoam Bawaleshie Depot, House of fabrics, Dong-Chebe, Fresh angels, Milan Star Fabrics and About Office Ghana Limited all in East Legon.
Mr Annan explained that all suppliers of taxable items, goods or services were to issue VAT invoices as required by the law while customers were also required by law to obtain an invoice for transactions that attracted VAT.
He said it was an infringement of the tax law for a business that was registered with the authority to fail to issue VAT invoice to its patrons.
He said the owners of the businesses had been invited because when the team visited they were not present.
“We found that the shops had clearly violated the law.
We will conduct pre-emptive assessments and recommend cases for full audit and then the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service will continue with investigations and then at the end of the day our legal unit will pick the matter up and take legal actions to prosecute businesses found culpable,” he said.
On the shop which was allegedly closed upon a tip off, he said “when you run away from us, then you continue to run away.
If you run, you have just postponed your predicament.
Unless you make sure things are done the right before we come after you”.
The GRA has set a revenue target of GH¢106 billion of which the Customs Division is expected to collect some GH¢28.5 billion in 2023.
Also, the GRA has identified some 93 businesses across the capital as targets of enforcement and compliance during the ongoing VAT enforcement exercise.
Mr Annan said the authority would continue to implement a number of tax policy initiatives to boost domestic revenue mobilisation, including the Electronic VAT, Electronic Tax Clearance Certificate, upfront payment on imported goods, excise tax stamp and resumption of vehicle income tax payment.
Other initiatives to shore-up and improve revenue mobilisation include the ongoing e-VAT invigilation exercise, test purchase and mystery shopping exercises by the authority.