The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has handed over managers of about nine business entities to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service for investigation into non-compliance of Valued Added Tax (VAT). They were arrested yesterday during an enforcement exercise by the GRA.
The entities include New Chapter Enterprise at Nyamekye, Fawaz Africa Commodities Ltd at Kasoa, Continental Hardware Supplies Ltd at Kasoa, Madagastar E-sports Arena at West Hills Mall, Kent’s Cup Coffee, also at West Hills Mall, COFKAN’S Company Ltd., at Weija Barrier, TSF Hamburger at China Town, among a host of others.
The Area Enforcement Manager of Accra Central of the GRA, Joseph Annan, who led a team of officers from GRA, told the Daily Statesman that the move was part of an ongoing nationwide VAT Invigilation exercise by the Authority to retrieve taxes due the State.
Mr Annan explained that test purchases had indicated that most operators at these companies did not issue the VAT invoice. He said it was, therefore, important for them to embark on the exercise to make tax payers to be voluntarily compliance, and make the recalcitrant face the full rigours of the law.
He said the facilities were not issuing the Commissioner-General’s invoice as required by law, adding that they had violated regulations of the Value Added Tax (VAT).
He further indicated that items such as VAT invoices, company invoices, waybills and company documents were retrieved from the companies to assist them to conduct a full-scale investigation to ascertain the revenue loss.
Mr Annan said the police would carry out their investigations, “but for us as tax administrators, we will assess their books and then apply all the penalties and interest that are applicable.”
He reminded the public that it is an offence not to issue the VAT invoice, cautioning that the law would take its own course.
He reaffirmed his outfit’s commitment “to continue embarking on mystery shopping exercises across the country to apprehend culprits evading tax and make taxpayers do the needful.”
He said even though GRA would “audit books”, the legal aspect would be handled by the CID, where they would prepare dockets for possible prosecution.
“We are enforcing the issuance of VAT invoices. I urge all businesses to do the right thing as expected of them. We will continue the exercise until all businesses comply with the law,” he said.
Mr Annan further advised the public to demand the VAT invoice whenever they make purchases to support the government’s efforts to raise revenue for development purposes.