The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), is blaming the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for contributing to revenue leakages at the Ports, especially in Tema.
The Authority is apprehensive about the rate at which fake documents are being used to transact business at the Ports and have said the BNI, EOCO and other security agencies are contributing to the rising menace.
Speaking to the Gold street Business during engagement to inaugurate a taskforce by the GRA with support from Organised Labour for Operation Collect, Name and Shame, an initiative meant to maximize revenue, Executive Secretary of the Public Service Workers Union Secretariat of the Trades Union Congress, Mr. Ken Tweneboah Koduah said the GRA’s quest to ensure voluntary compliance of tax payment is being taken for granted.
“At the Ports, fake documents are used to transact business. We know where those fake documents are printed, most people know and yet nobody is arresting. We have BNI, National Security, and EOCO at the Tema, yet, these fake documents keep coming in, working through the system and our officers cannot really differentiate between genuine and fake documents which are being used to clear goods” Mr. Koduah said.
Revenue mobilization by the GRA is currently growing at a negative deviation below the target of 13.3 percent and there is an urgent need to maximize customs and DTRD revenues to meet the GHc45 billion target set by the Authority for 2019.
Meanwhile, the GRA continues to battle individuals and businesses for misclassification of goods, misspecification of goods, under-declaration of goods, and falsification of documents, diversion of goods, and goods through unapproved routes, all in a bid by culprits to pay lower duties or completely evade or avoid tax.
“These are the offenses the task force is setting out to tackle by collecting, naming and shaming businesses and individuals who wants to remain enemies of the state by not paying their taxes” Mr. Koduah maintained.
Through the initiative, the GRA seeks to maximize custom and domestic tax revenues with a focus on unpaid taxes particularly by state institutions; hospitals, universities, and MMDAs.
VAT violations according to the Authority, will also be tackled with taxpayers who have refused to issue VAT invoices especially hotels, construction companies, malls, supermarkets, and commerce businesses being targets.
For the nationwide exercise, a team has been set for system audit, desktop audit, examination, preventive and intelligence and information gathering for Customs, while the Domestic Tax Revenue Division is made up of five audit teams; field inspection teams, field enforcement teams comprising stamp duties, and rent tax, excise tax and other special surprise areas.
GRA’s Commissioner-General, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has asked the taskforce to exercise a high level of professionalism and to have the interest of Ghana at heart instead of personal interests.
“As you set out to work to maximize revenue to meet our target for this year, you are going to be exposed to compromising situations that require the greatest display of integrity,” he told the taskforce.