4 business operators grabbed for non-issuance of VAT invoices to customers

Four business operators were yesterday arrested in Accra for allegedly failing to issue Value Added Tax (VAT) invoices to customers.

The operators run Buildmart Ghana, at Adabraka, Excellence Boutiques, on the Spintex Road, Bedarts Cold Supplies, at Lashibi, and Yat Ventures, at Mamobi, all in Accra.

They were arrested by the VAT Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) after it was discovered through undercover investigations that those businesses were not issuing VAT invoices to customers.

The Manager of the Accra Central Area Enforcement Unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Joseph Annan, who led the exercise, said in an interview, that the arrested operators, form part of 93 businesses out of 115 found not to be issuing VAT invoices to customers.

The actions of the operators, he said, was in violation of section 41 of the VAT Act which mandates a registered business to issue VAT invoice at all time.

Mr Annan said the arrested persons would be handed over to the police, investigated and charged for their actions.

Mr Annan noted that officers of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service would take the statement of those arrested after which the preemptive assessment would be established and the businesses would be required to pay for the penalty for not issuing VAT invoices.

“After that, the business would be recommended for full audit while the police continue with its investigations,” he said.

Mr Annan said that the Legal Department of the GRA was steadily building the prosecution dockets of all the arrested business operators for prosecution to commence.

“So far, none of the business managers arrested since the beginning of the exercise have been prosecuted.

“It takes time to build a docket. Some of them are asking for leniency but that decision can only be taken by the top managers of the Authority,” Mr Annan stated.

The GRA embarked on a special enforcement exercise from May 16, 2023 in collaboration with the police targeting operators of the 93 businesses which were violating the law on VAT.


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