2021 Auditor-General’s Report: 28 OMCs default on GH¢402 million debt …17 others fail to pay GH¢249 million in tax

Twenty-Eigth Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have defaulted in the payment of their GH¢402, 049,572 rescheduled debt to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Auditor-General (A-G) has revealed.

Seventeen other OMCs between January and December 2021, “did not pay taxes and duties totalling GH¢249,800,802 in 29,995,540 litres of oil lifted to the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division,” the A-G added.

“We recommend that the Commissioner, GRA Custom Division should recover the amount from the 17 OMCs without further delay,” the A-G urged.

The above were contained in the A-G’s audit report on Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the 2021 financial year which has since been submitted to Parliament pursuant to Article 87(5) of the 1992 Constitution.

According to the report signed by the A-G, Johnson AkuamoahAsiedu, a review of tax files from 21 Domestic Tax Offices showed that 6,856 companies, business entities and individuals owed an amount of GH¢111,652,263 in corporate and individual income taxes for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

“We noted that pay-as-you-earn totalling GH¢32,071,516 deducted on behalf of 3,121 employees including 346 directors was not remitted to the Commissioner-General for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 years of assessment.,” it said.

“We urge the Commissioner-General to recover all outstanding PAYE together with the appropriate penalties under Section 71 of the Revenue Administration Act.”

The report also revealed that 811 companies who filed their 2019, 2020 and 2021 failed to withhold taxes on goods and services procured amounting to GH¢43,471,512 as it urged the Commissioner-General to recover the outstanding taxes with the appropriate penalties.

The A-G’s 212-page report also revealed that 651 Value Added Tax (VAT) registered traders who filed their returns at the various tax offices owed a total of GH¢87,166,617 for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 financial years.

“We recommend that the Commissioner-General should take the necessary steps to recover all outstanding taxes.”

The Auditor-General also reported that its review of returned cheque register at 16 taxpayer service centres revealed that 316 cheques with a total of GH¢9,581,009 issued by tax payers were not honoured by the respective banks.

“Similarly,” the report said “128 cheques with a value of GH¢562, 090 lodged by GRA were not credited.

“We recommend that the heads of the tax offices involved should ensure that the taxpayers are pursued to settle the outstanding taxes. They should also ensure that the uncredited lodgements are rectified,” the report added.

BY JULIUSYAO PETETSI

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