GRA seals one shop, invite nine owners over tax infractions

Officials of the Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has invited nine shop owners for questioning and sealed one shop for noncompliance as part of its efforts to ensure voluntary Value Added Tax (VAT) compliance.

The GRA expects that all suppliers of taxable items, goods, or services, issue VAT invoices as required by law, and in the same vein, the customer is required by law to obtain an invoice if such transactions attract VAT.

Mr Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in charge of Accra Central, addressing the media, said it was an infringement of the tax laws if businesses failed to issue the VAT when they were registered with the Authority.

He said the shop owners had clearly violated the regulations of VAT and added that the Authority had expanded its scope by adding general tax compliance test to ensure tax compliance.

The team visited Mauds Finest Clothing Line, La Mirage Skin and Beauty Klinik, A-Z Boutique, The Difference Shop Clothing and Accessories, Heels Lounge, Bharrridan Royal Hotel, AH hotel Ubby Secret, Home Essentials and Aqua Scape Pool Supplies.

Aqua Scape Pool Supplies shop was sealed by the officials and confiscated some documents for assessment of records.

Mr Annan said the shop was sealed due to refusal to honour GRA’s invitation, adding the shop would be locked until the owner resolved the issues with the Authority.

However, if the situation prevails the issue would be handed over to the Court for prosecution.

He said the exercise or operations were part of an ongoing nationwide VAT Invigilation exercise by the Authority to retrieve some taxes due the State.

The Enforcement Officer said all these shops visited failed to issue the VAT invoice when the team performed a test purchase on them hence the arrest and handing over to the Police for investigation and possible prosecution.

He told the Ghana News Agency some of these hotels and shops were selective in the issuance of the VAT invoice to their customers.

He said these individuals would be assessed and made to pay immediately and after that ‘we will commence a full audit on the companies.’

He said the exercise would continue until sanity prevailed or was restored in the system.

Mr Annan said the GRA as part of the nationwide invigilation would continue to embark on mystery shopping exercises across the country to apprehend culprits evading tax.

Source: Ghana News Agency