Kennedy Agyapong: GRA denies harassment of MP's companies
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has denied allegations of harassment of companies owned by Kennedy Agyapong, a Member of Parliament for the Assin Central constituency and Presidential hopeful.
In a statement released on Monday, the GRA clarified that audits of Agyapong's companies were conducted as part of its mandate to ensure adherence to best practices and improve compliance.
The statement followed a media interview by Agyapong, in which he accused GRA officials of constant harassment through unwarranted audits of his companies.
I will finish the NPP if they try to collapse my businesses - Kennedy Agyapong (AUDIO)
Kennedy Agyapong pledges to create employment for Volta youth
Why Togbe Afede rejected Kennedy Agyapong's homage at the Asogli Palace
Ken Agyapong: 'I agree I'm too emotional, but I'll not change completely because I want to be president'
However, the GRA refuted the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by Agyapong, stating that the audits were conducted to check the value of goods imported and their intended use.
The GRA disclosed that about thirty (30) similar audits were conducted on other businesses in January and February 2023, and that invoice invigilation exercises were intensified nationwide in September 2022 to enforce the issuance of VAT invoices.
The authority intends to scale up the invoice invigilation exercise from April 2023 as part of its revenue mobilization efforts.
What the MP said
The Assin Central Member of Parliament in an interview with Sompa FM said he had been the victim of a witch-hunt by members of his party since the beginning of the year, alleging that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) was being used as a vehicle to intimidate and frustrate several of his business operations.
He alleged that the GRA wanted to station its personnel at his cold chain stores to police how much fish he sells daily, warning "Let me say this, I have gone past intimidation. They cannot use the system to intimidate me, I have to say this, I have opened businesses across the last five presidents. I never went through any of this harassment."
"Ghana Revenue Authority can never collapse my business because I will fight. I will fight for the youth because that steel plant alone will take 1000 workers," he said.
"And you are going there because Kwame Agyapong is loudmouthed because he wants to contest [for president] so you will destroy my business".
He also threatened to expose alleged corrupt dealing at the GRA.
"Whether they are auditing, whether they are collapsing the business, I swear to God, Ghana Revenue Authority can never collapse my business because I will fight..."
The GRA urged the public to report any alleged corrupt practices by its officials to the management of the GRA for redress.
The authority also assured Mr Agyapong and all taxpayers of its readiness to receive complaints and feedback on its work as it partners to mobilize revenue for national development.
The GRA statement concluded by stating that the authority remains committed to carrying out its mandate of revenue mobilization with integrity, fairness, and utmost professionalism.
Read the GRA's entire statement below;
ALLEGED HARASSMENT OF HON. KENNEDY AGYAPONG BY GRA
Management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has sighted a recording of a media interview by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central constituency, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong circulating on social media in which he accused GRA Officials of constant harassment through unwarranted audits of his companies.
GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted. The purpose of such audits, are to measure and improve compliance whiles fine tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use.
We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses. Furthermore, in the area of enforcement and compliance, GRA carries out invoice invigilation exercises to ascertain Value Added Tax (VAT) paid by VAT registered businesses. These exercises entail stationing staff on the premises of VAT registered businesses such as shops, restaurants and manufacturing sites to check the issuance of VAT invoices.
In September 2022, invigilation exercises were intensified nationwide in order to enforce the issuance of VAT invoices and to encourage persons who buy goods and patronize services to demand for VAT invoices. This exercise was very successful and GRA intends to scale up the invoice invigilation exercise from April 2023 as part of its revenue mobilization efforts.
In carrying out all these enforcement and compliance activities, staff of GRA have been advised to remain professional and act at all times with integrity as required by the Authority’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
We therefore encourage any member of the public who has evidence of any alleged corrupt practice by an official of the Authority to report such criminal acts to the Management of GRA on 0800-900-110 for redress.
Management wishes to use this opportunity to assure Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and all taxpayers of our readiness to receive complaints and feedback on our work as we partner to mobilise revenue for national development. We also wish to state that GRA remains committed to carrying out its mandate of revenue mobilization with integrity, fairness and utmost professionalism.
FLORENCE ASANTE (MRS)
COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT