When due diligence is not followed, appropriate authority will take action. This could explain the reason for the presence of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at the just concluded MTN 4Syte Music Video awards held at the Accra International Conference Center on the 16th day of November 2013.
The GRA collects 3% of the ticket fee for events of such magnitude, and as usual certain organizations deliberately try to avoid this tax. One reason could be their inability to factor this tax into the ticket so as to to cover cost and not run into loss after GRA deducts their share.
According to the GRA agents stationed to exercise their constitutional mandate, if the organizers failed to cooperate with their operation, they will immediately close down the event and all patrons will return home more disappointed with 4Syte management. Acting clever to avoid such scenario because GRA were there with their heavily armed security men with AK47, nobody interrupted with their job.
Patrons at the event were amazed to see this kind of enforcement whereby a piece of their ticket was torn by a GRA staff with his uniform. Sometimes it will appear as if some people were going in without their ticket part retrieved and you will see quick movement to correct such abnormality.
Commenting on the issue, a female representative of GRA who was part of the operation revealed to Chuks Ineh that, 4Syte management did not consult them to obtain their receipts and structure a more efficient way of helping government generate revenue from that event,Thus they stormed the venue. The male representative was more lenient in his explanation of their presence, he disclosed that among event organizers in Ghana, it is usually Bola Ray who will inform them prior to the program of his upcoming event, and the modalities will be well arranged. Hence even though their presence is not noticeable, their revenue was collected.
Lessons from GRA presence at 4Syte Music Awards
1. Protect the Dignity of an Event
It is far much better to meet with the Ghana Revenue Authority before your event, plan everything with them and not face such embarrassing sight. We all know that the approach to retrieving tax is not always pleasant. If a quiet negotiation can be attained before the program, why then will a rational entity prefer the presence of GRA?
2. Tearing of Ticket can cause serious problem
There is always an effective way of handling things especially money matters. Not only is it traditional and archaic but will never ensure a transparent exercise. What part of the ticket should be torn? What is the size of the torn part? You see, something torn can be torn again, or in other wise it can be divided! Once suspicion arise, accusations will spark!
3. Fear of Government Tax agents
Yes this may sound like joke but honestly the guilty will always fear. Imagine someone who does not pay taxes coming to an event to chill and seeing the presence of Tax collectors. He may not understand their presence but would collapse because of fear.
I have attended many events in the conference center and other major event centers in Ghana, that was my first time seeing Ghana Revenue Authority work in the night and at such event. They claim that they usually attend once the feel that they will not get their money but it is usually law breakers that will always create such scene and provoke their presence.
Source: Chuks Ineh