GRA summons businesses for VAT violations


A joint investigation by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Accra South Compliance and Enforcement Team and the police resulted in the arrest of a woman suspected of running a chain of stores and a warehouse in the Teshie region in violation of Value Added Tax (VAT).

For a similar offense, the task forces have summoned the proprietor of an iron rod manufacturer.

The woman, whose identity has been suppressed, was apprehended on Wednesday, December 13, 2023, when the team proceeded to three of her stores and then to the company’s warehouse in Teshie, Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District, Greater Accra Region.

The manager of Spintex, a dealer in iron rods and other steel items in the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District of the Greater Accra Region, was also summoned to the GRA headquarters for allegedly failing to register and provide VAT to his customers.

The operations of the two companies had previously been detected by GRA officials during an undercover purchasing exercise designed to determine the level of compliance by businesses.

All sellers of taxable articles, goods, or services are required by law to issue VAT invoices, and purchasers of such things are similarly obligated to acquire VAT invoices for goods purchased.

The team retrieved the companies’ computers, supplier invoices, and records books for audit purposes, while the shops were shuttered owing to their failure to issue the commissioner’s invoice.

Purchase as a test

Following the operation, the GRA’s Head of Enforcement and Debt Management for the Accra South Area, John Yaw Buabeng, told journalists that the authority would perform pre-emptive assessments and take legal steps to prosecute the business owners if they were proven liable.

He stated that the enterprises would be penalized under Section 58 of the VAT Act 870 for failing to issue VAT invoices and that “the appropriate sanctions will be applied.”

Infractions such as non-issuance of VAT invoices were punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, in addition to a penalty payment of not more than GH50,000 or three times the amount of tax involved.

A penalty unit is GH¢12.

“When we purchased the text from the businesses, they did not provide us with the commissioner’s VAT invoice.”

They should have a computer-generated invoice due to the fast nature of their operation.

We discovered that they provide invoices selectively and even had to contact for approval.”

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