Three businesses were targeted by the (GRA) for non-compliance and violations of the VAT legislation; two of the businesses were Chinese corporations and the third was a local business.
Zengsi Investment Company and Hua Feng Trading Company are the two Chinese companies, and East Legon’s De ICON event center is owned by Ghana.
Speaking to the B&FT during a surprise shopping exercise in Accra, Joseph Annan, the Area Enforcement Manager of GRA in charge of Accra Central, said the two Chinese businesses had plainly broken VAT regulations, and as a result, their owners had been detained.
“These entities have printed their own invoices and are issuing, even though they have the VAT receipt in their locker,” he confirmed.
He said that the GRA’s mystery shopping program is a part of continuing VAT enforcement efforts aimed at increasing compliance among registered businesses.
Customers don’t want to take the VAT receipt when it is provided, the owners of the Chinese shop told B&FT. But Mr. Annan asserted that the choice to evade the imposition of VAT is tax suppression.
It was learned that the DE ICON event center in East Legon has been in operation since December of last year but has not yet registered with the GRA to fulfill its tax responsibilities.
Nathaniel Tetteh, an officer at the GRA’s Debt Management Compliance & Enforcement Unit, informed reporters that when an investigation is conducted to determine how much revenue has been generated since the facility opened, the De ICON event center would pay its VAT arrears.
The Authority temporarily closed the facility, and the management was instructed to register with the GRA prior to a public opening.
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