The Special Revenue and Mobilization Taskforce of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has given five pubs and restaurants in Accra an ultimatum to pay their taxes today or be closed down.
The GRA, on Friday night carried out a special tax compliance exercise in which it emerged that these pubs are in default of tax laws.
The five pubs-Figures pub, Chez Afrique, Kikibees Restaurant, Yenkodi Bar and Restaurant and Excel Lounge whose businesses are all located within East Legon in Accra have breached tax laws in varied ways.
According to the Coordinator of GRA’s special revenue mobilization taskforce, Henry Bradford Sam, Figures Pub has been operating for four years, but not registered as a business with the GRA.
He said Chez Afrique has been invited to the offices of GRA today for audit to be carried out to establish whether the figures on their tax invoices reflect on their tax returns.
For Kikibees, Yenkodi and Exhale Lounge pubs and restaurants, he accused them of issuing their own computer-generated receipts without approval from the GRA.
“Before a company is given a dispensation to issue its own computer-generated receipts, it must apply to the Commissioner-General. An audit will be conducted on the system that the company is using and upon satisfaction by the audit team a report is issued to the business with a one-year validity period approval letter or certificate”, he explained.
Mr. Sam said the aim of the exercise is to ensure improved compliance of the country’s tax laws to help boost government’s revenue.
He noted that the GRA does not take delight in the closing of businesses or do something that would hinder the smooth operation of businesses.
He, therefore, urged businesses that operate at night to voluntarily regularise their tax affairs.
“They shouldn’t take it for granted and say we operate during the day only. Once they operate in the night, we will also start working after 5 pm to ensure that, those who are hiding and are in tax hibernation or in the shadow economy are brought into the tax net.”
“So, the word of advice is that those who are operating should they should voluntarily pay the taxes. The exercise is not going to end in Accra but rather extend it to other regions. So, they should run to our offices and submit their returns to avoid any embarrassment”, he added.
Source: John Elliot HAGAN, thefinderonline.com