Near Closure of Accra Mall to Trigger Tax Compliance
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is confident of increasing its revenue collection with the new tax compliance policy being rolled out.
It follows an exercise on Wednesday that nearly led to a closure of the Accra Mall for the non-payment of taxes.
The Authority is hopeful the move will deepen voluntary tax compliance among the taxpaying public.
According to the Chief Revenue Officer for the Debt Management and Compliance unit of the GRA, Wisdom Xetor, the distress action against managers of the Accra Mall became apparent as the operators failed to fulfill their side of the bargain.
This he maintains came despite several promptings from the GRA to do so.
“On the 26th of October, we followed up with a final demand notice and still they only kept saying they will meet their stakeholders or management to ensure that they liquidate the liability but as I speak this is yet to be adhered to so. So we are here to ask for payment or settlement of the tax debt if that is not complied with then we are closing the place and distraining any distrainable assets we can lay our hands on,” he told media men.
New revenue collection approach
The order, which is at the behest of the Commissioner General, is in line with the Act guiding retrieving taxes from defaulters.
It also forms part of the stick approach by the GRA to clamp down on tax defaulters.
According to Mr. Hetor, the GH¢2,306, 625 arrears comprised penalties that had accrued since the expiration of the taxpaying date in September 2017.
The shutting down of the mall could have ceased operations that could also have affected the scores of businesses that operate at the facility.
For this year, the GRA is seeking to raise an estimated 25.72 billion cedis in taxes.
Of this, income taxes account for 9 billion cedis with taxes on goods and services is expected to make up some 12 billion cedis.
Mr. Hetor however explains the outfit will employ human face where necessary to improve compliance.
“We want to approach tax collection with some human face that is why all this while we have been approaching them and encouraging them to come and pay even before we take this exercise. So the law says that even if you owe tax debts you can make reasonable arrangements but if that is not done, then we can come in like we are doing today,” he asserted.
GRA closes down law firm
Meanwhile the taskforce has closed down law firm, Peasah Boadu and Co for also owing Corporate Income Taxes and Pay as You Earn (PAYE).
The debt estimated at 1 million cedis, had been in arrears between 2009 and 2017.
The company has up to ten days to clear the debts failure to do so will determine other drastic action by the GRA.