The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) task force has clamped down on six businesses in Accra for allegedly evading tax on the electronic Value Added Tax (VAT) system.
The managers of the businesses were picked up by the task force leading the operation.
The businesses are ComputerLand (Osu), A Chinese Supermarket (dealers in vegetables, meat and other groceries in Osu), Emilijo Enterprise (La Wireless), Sulas Enterprise and Mahalia Kollections (Spintex) and U-Fresh Manufacturing Company Limited.
The companies were discovered to be either not issuing the e-VAT invoice or to be selectively issuing it.
The Managers were taken to the Customs office at the headquarters for statements before being turned over to the Police Criminal Investigation Department.
The initiative is part of a nationwide VAT invigilation effort to ensure tax compliance and recover taxes owed to the state.
Section 41 of the VAT Act 2013, (Act 870), as amended by Acts 1082 and 1087, required every registered VAT taxpayer to issue an electronic VAT invoice with the details prescribed by the Commissioner General when providing services or supplying goods.
He explained that the punishment for such infractions under the VAT Act included a fine of up to 1,500 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of up to five years, or both, in addition to a penalty of up to GH50,000 or three times the amount of tax involved.
People who broke the law could also face charges under sections 78 and 82 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915), which deal with failing to comply with tax law and impeding tax administration, respectively.
Meanwhile, he has advised businesses to comply with their tax obligations to prevent the GRA from clamping on them.
”Some businesses have expressed concern about the task force’s activities. They claim that the swoops have had an impact on their businesses and that people keep calling them because they saw them in the news for tax evasion. What I want to suggest is that these businesses do the right thing. They should be able to meet their tax obligations without issue.”