Story: Business Desk
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), as part of the issuance of Value Added Tax (VAT) invoice exercise, has handed over 10 shop managers to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service for investigation.
The managers will be investigated for non-compliance with the country’s tax laws and for tax infractions.
The shops are VK & J Trading Enterprise, Frimako Ventures, Molla Ventures, Yamiz Ventures, Jomilet Tiles and Abi Ventures.
Others are Delcam FB Limited Books & Stationery, Tiwalet Whosales, Klelon Mall, and Regal Enterprise all located in the Ablekuma North Municipal District in the Greater Accra Region.
Mr Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of GRA in charge of Accra Central, said that all these shops were found not to be issuing the Commissioner-General’s invoice but issuing their own VAT invoices when a test-purchase was done on them, adding that they had violated regulations of the VAT.
He said the exercise was part of an ongoing nationwide VAT Invigilation exercise by the Authority to retrieve some taxes due the state.
He said the police would do their investigations, but for them as tax administrators, “we will assess their books and then apply all the penalties and interest that are applicable.”
He added that it was an offence not to issue the VAT invoice and the law would take its own course.
Mr Annan noted the GRA as part of a nationwide invigilation would continue to embark on mystery shopping exercises across the country to apprehend culprits evading tax.
He said the GRA’s test-purchase exercise was to ensure voluntary compliance of all tax revenues.
“We will continue this exercise until our taxpayers do the needful. We are adding night test-purchase for the shops who operate at night,” he added.
When asked about the awareness of customers, he said the Authority every month announced the policies of tax payments of GRA on radio and TV stations and all GRA social media platforms, therefore customers are aware of tax compliance.
“They are just not complying with the tax laws”, he said.
He advised all customers to do the right thing as patriotic citizens by ensuring that they were issued with VAT invoices.
He said the Authority in their auditing process would conduct a preemptive assessment, which meant that they would have to pay immediately, but then they would recommend a full audit to be conducted.
Mr Annan said even though they would audit their books the legal aspect would be handled by the CID, where they would prepare their docket for possible prosecution.