The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has denied allegations made by the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) that it was harassing its members as part of its ongoing tax compliance exercise.
The GRA claims that GUTA’s claims are unfounded, baseless, and lacking in merit.
Since last year, the GRA has been engaged in an enforcement exercise, summoning businesses that have refused to issue certified VAT invoices at the point of purchase of goods at their outlets by the Commissioner-General.
The initiative is part of the Authority’s effort to ensure tax compliance and recover unpaid taxes.
However, the GUTA leadership has accused Authority officers of harassing their members.
Assistant Commissioner Joseph Annan, Manager of the GRA’s Accra Central Enforcement Unit, denied the allegations during an enforcement exercise on September 20, 2023.
According to him, the GRA is only conducting the audit to ensure that businesses are complying with tax laws.
He clarified that they do not harass businesses but instead invite those who have violated tax laws to assist in investigations concerning the non-issuance and selective issuance of VAT receipts.
He added that after the invitation, the GRA conducts pre-emptive assessments and recommends cases for a full audit, and then the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service will continue with investigations, and at the end of the day, our legal unit will pick up the matter and take legal action to prosecute businesses found culpable.
The GRA plans to continue enforcement exercises focusing on the implementation of electronic invoicing systems and other tax types, he stressed.
”When we come to your shop, it is not that we say you are not paying taxes. The reality is that you are not paying, and if you call that harassment, then I don’t know what to say because ours is to administer the tax and make sure that taxpayers comply with the tax laws. That is what we are paid to do. We are paid from the taxes that you pay. So would you be happy to pay us to sit in our offices? You pay us to work, and that we shall do. So it is not about harassment. It is about whether you are paying your taxes. If you are paying your taxes, then definitely, there would be nothing like harassment.”