Seven managers of companies which allegedly failed to comply with the Value-Added Tax (VAT) regulations were today arrested during a VAT enforcement exercise by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in the central business district of Accra.
The seven companies in question were Sika Krobea (rice dealer), MS Thacker Overseas, The Best 5 Company Limited (tin tomatoes dealer), City Appliances, and BIG ZIGI, all of which were found to have engaged in non-issuance of VAT receipts, while Add Pharma Pharmacy, Bread Boutique and Panacea Pharmacy were also found to have engaged in selective issuance of VAT receipts.
Five of the seven managers were immediately picked up by the special forces from the Police CID, while two were asked to report to the police on May 29, 2023.
Accra Central Area Enforcement Coordinator at GRA, Joseph Annan, who led the operations, told journalists that members of the taskforce employed a mystery shopping strategy called test purchase to determine whether the companies in question were issuing VAT receipts, and that was how they found some failed to do so and others only issued VAT receipts selectively.
According to him, the operation is in line with Section 42 on the VAT law, which require every business registered for VAT to be compliant.
He said since the exercise started on April 10 this year, some 93 out of 115 businesses visited have been identified to be VAT non-compliant, and they will soon be prosecuted, adding that more defaulters are being discovered by the day.
Mr. Annan said while the police CID is preparing the suspects for prosecution, the GRA task force will also work on recommendations for a full audit of the businesses in question to determine the full scale of their crime, in terms of how much they have denied the state and over what period.
Meanwhile, some of the suspects admitted to being non-compliant, while other were quite apprehensive, claiming that all efforts to get GRA to assist them to be compliant have failed so they cannot be blamed for doing their own thing.
At Ad Pharma Pharmacy, in particular, the manager said they have been to GRA for assistance to enable them collect VAT for the state but GRA has failed to provide them with the necessary assistance.
Mr. Annan said the apprehensions were to be expected and they serve as feedback to GRA so they will take them into consideration to determine the way forward.