- A new VAT order in Ghana emerges
Ghana VAT is in the picture as the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has urged registered businesses to strive to issue the Commissioners Value Added (VAT) Invoice to their customers, and also implored businesses that have not registered to do so.
During its team’s visit to Many Means and Wasfal Enterprises, all wholesale shops in Nima, the tax body discovered that VAT invoices were not being issued at the premises.
At the Enterprise, the officers were forced to take the central processing unit of the computer, because they were handing out their own receipts, excluding inclusive.
According to Mr Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of GRA in charge of Accra Central, the organisation had apparently violated regulations of the VAT.
He mentioned that the exercise is part of an ongoing nationwide VAT Invigilation exercise by the Authority to regain some taxes owed to the State.
Mr. Joseph revealed that during these exercises, some of their officers were deployed to the field to do mystery shopping and this gave them the impression that many shop owners were not issuing the right VAT invoice, making them infringed on the country’s tax laws.
He further stated that some of the managers at Many Means Enterprise were handed over to the police to process them for court, and the Authority also plans to examine them and apply all the interest and penalties and sanction under their law.
The exercise would continue until the Authority reclaims sanity into the system, where people fulfil their tax obligations.
He mentioned that in cases where shop owners would want to hand out their own invoices, they could apply to the Authority, where auditing would be done, and the necessary procedures followed to help them issue their receipts.
According to the Enforcement Officers at Wasfal Enterprise, the owner of the shop was told to report at the GRA Head Office.
In a prior exercise, another team closed down the facilities of a Plush event and trading Centre ‘Delcon’ at East Legon in Accra for failing to honour their tax obligations to the State
Ghana VAT: Business Directors Handing Out Fake VAT Invoices To Face 5 Years Jail Term
Starting from October, 2022, directors of registered businesses who are issuing fake invoices, receipts, and also refusing to file their annual tax returns could face over five years in prison.
The Head of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Edward Gyambrah, stated that the authority has already begun indicting some businesses and will continue to clamp down on others who refuse to do what is right.
According to Section 41 (11) of the VAT Law, businesses that refuse to issue a tax invoice through a Certified Invoicing System contrary to subsection 2 are liable to pay a fine of not less than 1000 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years or to both, among others.
Speaking with the media, Mr. Gyambrah said, his outfit is intent on shutting off revenue leakages within the economy, to generate more revenue for the country.
He explained that no business should ever ask if a customer would prefer a VAT invoice or a normal one, stating that such question amounts to suppression of tax; an action which is criminal under the Revenue Administration Act.
He revealed that the Authority is already out there in disguise, buying things and requiring invoices, all in a bid to discover and follow non-issuance and fake issuance.
He stated that the Authority is also going after businesses who have refused to file their annual tax return.
According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in the Mid-Year Budget Review, an electronic invoicing system (e-VAT) will be issued out to help thee Authority have a real-time view of VAT- related transactions for the collection of the tax in the 4th quarter of 2022.
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