The Acting Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority has cautioned the general public that recalcitrant members of the public who fail to be tax complaint will be met with aggression this year emphasizing that more stringent measures would be applied to individuals especially agents and importers who declare falsely to evade taxes at the ports.
“So far as I lead this team, we will make sure that we educate and encourage tax compliance, but if you decide to be recalcitrant, the law will take its course.”
Speaking to the public live on Eye on Port’s interactive platform live on national TV said sanctions have been made stiffer, including the revoking of licenses for unscrupulous clearing agents who would want to take advantage of the fine systems and engage in falsehood.
“False declaration cannot happen without a connivance with the agent. After you are caught 2 or 3 times, we will ban you from operating. We have a system now that would be able to track the under-invoicing and over-invoicing. We will make sure the revenue leakages are minimized to the barest minimum,” he stated.
Rev. Owusu Amoah said, the GRA is very determined to rake in all the due revenue into Government coffers for national development, so it will not leave any stone unturned in efforts to perform its mandate.
He cited the example of shop owners and business operators, who under declare VAT issued, and warned that the invigilation officers are very charged to ensure that all due returns are made to the GRA.
“Some tax payers, will put a card in the invoice, and you find out that on the first sheet, the original invoice has a significantly different amount from the one that is on the duplicate and the triplicate, and thus evading the tax” he cited.
The GRA boss in the same vein, warned that officers who collude with tax payers to negotiate taxes will be brought to book. “There are revenue officers who try to in their assessment negotiate to beat down the taxes. These are the things that we are going to eliminate completely,” he cautioned.
He urged members of the public to be confident in reporting any such officers who engage in bad behaviors to management of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
“We want to say they should not be intimidated or troubled if they come out. I want to encourage the public that, as we come up with the numbers, they should also come out so that if we find anybody not doing the right thing, we will provide the support they need.”
He revealed that in addition to the informal sector, the e-commerce sector is an area the GRA will expand its reach to retrieve due taxes, towards the general objective of widening the tax net.
The Commissioner General, entreated staff of the Ghana Revenue Authority, to exhibit best customer service practices, to tax payers when they walk into their officers, to honor their tax obligations.
He revealed that tax payers have access to an improved customer relation unit, and they are welcome to approach the GRA, when they have any concerns or dissatisfaction regarding the fulfilment of their tax obligations.
“We are setting up in our offices, what we call, who audits the auditor? We will have another unit where if you bring such a complaint, you would not have the same auditor harassing you, auditing you, but somebody else that you can run to,” he disclosed.