Flush out foreigners or we won’t pay VAT – GUTA

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has threatened not to pay VAT if government does not flush out foreigners who engage in retail businesses by October 31, 2017.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the General Secretary of GUTA, Nana Opoku, said, it was illegal as stated by the GIPC Act 865, for foreign nationals to invest or participate in the sales of goods or provision of service in a market.

According to him, “if care is not taken, sometime in the future, there would be no businesses left for Ghanaians to control.”

Unlawful Activities

GUTA, during the press conference, brought to bay some illegal activities of some foreign traders.

According to them, “these foreign nationals, who are not paying VAT and other related taxes to GRA, were also engaged in some illegal activities such as money laundering.

They accused foreign traders of “convincing some indigenous businessmen and women to transfer monies to their counterparts outside the country.”

“These same illegal foreign operators are also imitating the indigenous registered products, also known as substandard products that sell cheap in our market. Also, they selfishly employ their fellow nationals instead of Ghanaians,” the general secretary added.

Betrayal

In another vein, it was revealed that foreign business owners were in business because they had received assistance from Ghanaians who front for them.

“We the traders of Greater Accra and beyond would like to sound a word of caution to all landlords and landladies and our fellow Ghanaians that, aiding and abetting, fronting for foreign nationals is a crime in the law books,” UTAG indicated.

All laws must work

Given that the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865, bars foreigners from engaging in the retail business, GUTA has asked that the security agencies must enforce the laws.

The general secretary of the union noted that, if the law “can compel them to pay their taxes, then the laws which take care of the sustenance of their livelihood must also be enforced.

“If the GIPC Act is not enforced, then we shall also flout the laws and not pay tax. They should take us to court. We won’t tell our people to close the shops; we will not hit the streets in protest―we will not pay tax,” Mr Opoku said.

Source:  Grace Ablewor Sogbey

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