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GRA turns attention to malls for VAT infractions 

Documents of one of the shops being examined

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has thrown its spotlights on convenience stores and shopping malls that are in default of Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Authority visited Unique Collections, Zeno’s Yoghurt, Blush Avenue, Naya by Africa, Guvnor Restaurant and Shake’s Nation, all located within the A&C Shopping Mall at East Legon in Accra, in respect of above stated purpose.

The GRA, through its enforcement unit, at the end of the day on December 14, 2022, uncovered six retail businesses indulged in various tax infractions.

These businesses were found to be issuing their own invoices, unapproved receipts or not issuing receipts at all.

Mr Joseph Annan, Head of Enforcement for the Accra Central Unit of the GRA, led the task force in the company of journalists in search of defaulting businesses in the capital.

He told the media that two sets of defaulting businesses were discovered during the enforcement exercise – entities registered with GRA, but not issuing VAT receipts and others that are not registered at all.

He said non-issuance of the VAT invoice attracts a penalty, which could be twice the pre-emptive assessment that would be carried out on transactions or slapped with not more than 100 penalty units.

Mr Annan said this would deter culprits from breaking the VAT regulation: “It is also wise for businesses to come to the GRA to register as that is not considered as compulsory registration. However when a company is arrested and forced to register – that will involve a penalty of not more than twice of that assessment or a term of imprisonment of not more than six months.”

The Acting Head of Operations at the GRA, Kwesi Eghan had earlier this month stated that the exercises of this nature were proof of the Authority’s activeness and aggressiveness in ensuring compliance. He also said it debunks the perception out there that the Authority is sleeping on the job.

Mr Eghan said enforcement through invigilation and mystery shopping or test purchases are key Strategies to GRA, as “these are compliance tools for revenue collection. Since September, we have invigilated about 175 taxpayers. Taxpayers are our stakeholders and we operate with them on the premise of trust.”

He explained that the Authority had also resolved to enforce compliance in the hospitality industry and departmental shops during the festive season, as “these are plans to meet our target and to deepen the country’s growth prospect towards revenue mobilisation,” he added.

After a successful enforcement of Value Added Tax (VAT) compliance at various quarry sites across the country, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has begun enforcing compliance at various grocery shops within the capital as part of enhancing responsiveness during the festive season.

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