The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said it has identified a number of businesses that are violating tax laws through its ongoing VAT enforcement exercise in the Greater Accra Region.
Through the VAT enforcement exercise, the taskforce found out that many businesses had not registered with the authority, while those that had registered were either not issuing VAT invoices or were engaged in selective issuance of VAT invoices.
Consequently, the GRA has indicated that it will intensify its enforcement exercises to compel non-tax-compliant businesses to honour their tax obligations in line with the law.
Head of the Accra Central Enforcement Unit of the GRA, Assistant Commissioner, Joseph Annan, speaking to journalists in Accra after one of the enforcement exercises, said: “What it means is that, we have to do a lot more compliance checks.
“Businesses operating in the country that have failed to register with the authority or comply with tax laws will be compelled to do the right thing,” he said.
The GRA has since June, this year, stepped up its tax compliance and enforcement efforts in a bid to meet its target of collecting GH¢106 billion for 2023, representing a year-on-year growth of 40 percent.
To meet this target, the authority had indicated some of the measures it would employ to include the full automation of its operations and deployment of technology in revenue collection.
The latest exercise is the VAT enforcement exercise, which saw the team visiting 10 companies within the La Nkwantanang and Adentan municipalities.
The taskforce also included personnel from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service.
All the managers of the various businesses visited were invited to assist the GRA with investigations pertaining to the non-issuance and selective issuance of VAT receipts as part of efforts to ensure voluntary compliance with tax laws.
Section 41 of the Value Added Tax Act mandates businesses to consistently issue VAT invoices to their patrons.
Failure to comply with the requirement of the law is tantamount to a violation of the law while customers who fail to obtain an invoice over transactions that attract VAT also violate the law.
Mr Annan said the authority had put in place a number of measures to ensure maximum compliance of all tax laws.
He said the taskforce had extended its focus beyond VAT enforcement to ensure complete tax compliance.
“For now, we are not limited to VAT because in order to achieve the target, we have to look at all tax types.
Taxation encompasses VAT, our scrutiny will encompass all applicable taxes for any given taxpayer we visit.
We are not limiting our exercise solely to VAT,” he said.
In line with this, he said the taskforce now conducted a comprehensive examination of the taxpayers to identify their eligibility for various tax categories.
“This is how we intend to enhance our tax collection efforts. It is not solely about VAT compliance. It’s about adhering to all tax categories,” he said.
He called for citizens’ support and collaboration to enable the GRA to meet its revenue collection target as “every taxpayer must contribute to build the nation.”