Rot at Osu Branch of GRA 

Efforts by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government with the introduction of technology in the revenue sector, particularly, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to block leakages in the mobilisation and collection of revenues in terms of taxes are being thwarted by some personnel at the GRA office at Osu-Re in the Greater Accra Region.
Our investigations revealed that a senior auditor at the Osu branch of GRA, one Sampson Chiragia often gave tax waivers to companies without approval from his superiors.

For instance, our investigations uncovered that, Chiragia gave tax waiver to a certain private security company, without approval and further destroyed the company’s tax history file just to cover his deeds.

He was recently alleged to have aided Svani Group Limited, an automobile company that deals in Mahindra vehicles to evade tax due to the State in a tune of Four Million Ghana Cedis (Ghc4, 000,000.00) in exchange for a brand new 4X4 Prado vehicle as a barter deal with the company.

Although our source at GRA office at Spintex road where the company is located said,   Mr Chiragia did not work on the tax file of Svani Group Limited he,  was however,  able to influence the officer at the Spintex office who worked on Svani’s file.

Again, our checks at the office of the Commissioner General confirmed that, the Authority in recent times had received several reports on some officers who allegedly were involved in one fraudulent deal or other.

The source, however,  assured that,  the Commissioner General would soon commence investigations into those alleged fraudulent acts being perpetuated by some officers including those at the Osu branch.

Responding to the tax evasion allegation, General Manager of Svani Group Limited, Burhan Captan in an interview with this paper via telephone denied that his outfit had evaded tax.

According to him,  his company was in good standing as far as their taxes commitment  to the state are concerned , and therefore was not afraid of anything.

“We are in good standing,  and I also don’t know the man (referring to Mr Chiragia) in question”, he said.

When Mr Chiragia was contacted,  he rubbished the allegation, saying “it   is impossible for him to do that since the Svani company is not under Osu GRA”.

According to him, “if a company is not under your jurisdiction you cannot get up and go and audit them. It is only the Commissioner General who can assign an external officer to do that, and until that is done, no one has the authority to do that on his or her own”, he fumed.

He also denied knowing the Svani company, but when he was probed further, he said,  the only person he knows at the company was one Prince who he said, is the company’s accountant.

“I know my detractors are at it again, but my hands are clean,  and therefore they will not succeed”, he said.

He, however, did not understand why some people wanted to disgrace him when, “I’m faithfully serving my country”.

It would be recalled that at the recent economic forum organised by the Danquah Institute in Accra, Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta revealed that some lawyers and big business owners in Ghana had refuse to pay taxes but were the ones who shout the loudest on social media about the government’s failure to render certain public services well”

According to him, “such people have abundant resources to contribute to nation-building yet have refused to do so by not paying their taxes”.

“There are lawyers, big business owners in the country, yet they refuse to declare their income.

“They have the resources and knowledge to make their fair contribution but simply refuse to pay their taxes. And yet, will shout the loudest on social media and any given forum about how government is failing in delivering public services.

“Such men and women are all around us. Unfortunately, they sit on the front pews of the churches”, the minister said.

It is on this note that we call for proper investigation by the state security apparatus to dig deeper into the issue and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Source: News DESK

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