Four business operators including Chinese and Lebanese nationals were arrested yesterday in Accra for failing to issue Value Added Tax (VAT) invoice to customers.
Although the identities of the persons were not disclosed, their businesses; Chang Wei Company Limited, Selina Bags Shop, Zebrex Motors Limited and Black Park Company Limited were found to have engaged in the act.
They were arrested by the VAT Invigilation taskforce of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) during a VAT enforcement exercise at the Central Business District (CBD) and Abeka.
The taskforce confiscated receipt books and sale books in Chinese, GRA VAT invoice books, Point of Sale (POS) systems and receipt books.
Mr Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of Accra Central, GRA, who led the exercise, said, the arrested persons would be investigated and charged for their actions.
He stated that they would be assessed pre-emptively and investigated to pay the taxes lost before a full audit was undertaken to determine the full impact of their actions on other levies they were expected to pay.
He noted that, they would then be prosecuted by the GRA legal unit for failing to comply with the tax law.
“Once VAT is under-declared, other taxes will be affected. The investigations will help to determine the impact of their actions so the expected sanctions are applied,” Mr Annan added.
He urged businesses registered for VAT to issue the VAT invoice at all times as required by law to avoid facing the sanctions and prosecution.
“We are in town enforcing the issuance of VAT invoices. I urge all businesses to do the right thing as expected of you. We will continue the exercise until all businesses comply with the law,” he stated.
Mr Annan further advised the public to demand the VAT invoice whenever they make purchases to support government’s efforts to raise revenue.
The exercise, which started on September 15 this year, he noted, had resulted in the arrest of seven other business operators who were currently under investigation pending prosecution.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS