Jun 2013

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) yesterday said it would begin a comprehensive programme to recover all arrears of tax revenue to the state.

Mr George Blankson, the Commissioner General of GRA, said the debt management and compliance enforcement unit would collaborate with outfield offices throughout the country to conduct distress action and seal off premises.

He said various methods had been employed to recover arrears without success, including serving of demand notice, telephone calls, personal visits and final demand notices.

“However, the defrauding taxpayers have failed to pay or make satisfactory arrangements to defray their indebtedness to the Authority and as a result, we have no other choice than to fall on the provisions of the tax laws to recover these outstanding arrears through enforcement actions”, Mr Blankson said.

He said while taxpayers were valued partners in revenue mobilisation for government, it was also their responsibility by law to pay taxes on time.

“As much as possible we want taxpayers to continue in business and even grow so that they pay their current tax arrears and also continue in business to pay more taxes in future,” he said, adding that it was only when the soft approach had failed that the Authority took the hard enforcement actions as a final resort.

Meanwhile, the GRA has sealed off the premises of PH Hotels near American House for non-payment of taxes amounting to GHȼ314,145.55.

The offices of AFWest Security at East Legon were also sealed for owing GHȼ187,678 in taxes.

At the premises of Mensvic Grand Hotel, the management promptly paid the amount of GHȼ48,159 owed to the Ghana Revenue Authority. They were, however, unhappy with the presence of media personnel.

Mr Samuel Bentil, Chief Revenue Officer, said the companies had failed to respond to the demand notices sent to them to pay the taxes hence the action to close them down.

He said if the companies fail to make arrangements to pay within a reasonable period, the Authority would be forced to sell their assets to defray the cost.

Source: GNA