Ghana: GRA Chases Tax Defaulters … Closes Down 2 Companies for Non-Payment of Paye, Vat

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in an exercise to reclaim tax liabilities yesterday closed down the warehouse of Pasico Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of UK based Paterson Simons, and Pollution to Water (P2W) Company Limited, both located in Accra.

Both companies which deal in world-class cranes, forklifts and building supplies as well as providing water treatment solutions respectively, had defaulted in pay-as-you earn (PAYE) and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounting to GH¢19.8 million.

While Pasico Ghana owed close to GH¢4.9 million since 2015 till date, P2W was indebted to the tune of GH¢14.9 million over the last seven years.

The exercise, undertaken by the Debt Management, Compliance and Enforcement Unit of the GRA, also took the team to the GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited and the Tema office of the Cocoa Marketing Company.

It emerged that whereas GIHOC owed about GH¢182 million in tax default in the last two years, the Cocoa Marketing Company owed GH¢6.8 million from 2018 to date.

Whereas workers of Pasico Ghana and P2W had complied with the eviction order by the Debt Compliance Team during the visit to their offices, there was near brawl at GIHOC as management opposed attempts to halt operations for default in tax payment.

An earlier confrontation by officers of the distillery cooled off upon seeing the media team that accompanied the tax compliance team, prompting an indoor meeting which resulted in a cheque payment of GH¢1.1million.

A meeting is thus scheduled for today, to settle on an effective payment plan for GIHOC to offset the rest of its debt with that of the Cocoa Marketing Company listed for Monday.

Head of the Debt Management, Compliance and Enforcement Unit, Mr Michael Sefa, addressing journalists signaled that the GRA will not renege in reclaiming all liabilities owed it.

“We are following up on these companies because several letters, meetings and engagements with most of them to pay their debts have proved futile and we want to send a signal that between now till December, we will collect every penny of debt owed us.”

According to him, most of the debts owed GRA were public sector agencies and though some had made plans to pay, others were just apathetic, thus prompting the Authority to use all means legal and possible to claim payment.

Principal Revenue Officer of the Unit, Mr Nathaniel Tetteh, decried the holding on of PAYE and VAT by companies in clear violation of the country’s domestic tax laws.

“This tax type is not for the companies. They are monies that have been paid by employees and deducted from salaries while the VAT is money you and I have paid into the company, so this is government revenue which they are keeping and have over kept it,” he argued.

According to him, per the law, companies sealed off had a minimum of seven days to pay in part or full the debts owed to resume operations; failure of which “the Commissioner General may take the decision to auction their assets, we take our money out and give the rest to them or otherwise.”

Mr Tetteh to this end, urged companies and individuals to keep true to their tax payments for smooth business operations to enhance the country’s development.


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Publish date : 2019-10-25 10:25:58

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