Two restaurant managers and employees of an Accra-based electrical cable company were detained by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) team for failing to issue VAT tax bills.
The companies are Waves Lounge and Pub, Chez Amis Pub and Grill, and Grand Pacific Limited, dealers in general electrical cables.
The managers were taken to the Customs Office at the headquarters for their statements before being handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police.
Edward Appenteng Gyamerah, Commissioner, Domestic Tax Revenue Division, GRA, said the managers had refused to issue certified VAT invoices by the Commissioner-General at the point of purchase of goods at their outlets.
The initiative, he stated, was part of the Authority’s exercise to ensure tax compliance and retrieve taxes due the state.
He said the Division had several options at its disposal to aid in revenue mobilization, including already existing initiatives such as auditing and test purchasing, among others.
Gyamerah said the test purchases conducted on 115 taxpayers that were sampled for a week revealed that a total of 93 taxpayers were not issuing the VAT invoice.
The figure, he stressed translated into a non-compliance rate of 80.9 per cent and said it was an offense for a registered taxpayer to fail to issue a VAT invoice for purchases made.
He said the division would continue with the enforcement exercises with an eye on the implementation of the electronic invoicing system and other tax types.
The government has tasked the GRA with raising a revenue target of GHc 106 billion for the 2023 fiscal year.
Out of this figure, the Domestic Tax Revenue Division is expected to collect 70 per cent of the total revenue.
This year, President Nana Akufo-Addo assented to the three amendments passed by Parliament.
They are the Excise Duty (Amendment), Act 2023 (Act 1093), the Income Tax (Amendment), Act 2023 (Act 1094), and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Act 2023 (Act 1095).
These amendments were to complement efforts to ensure the Authority met its revenue target.
Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of GRA, in charge of Accra Central, said the Authority would continue to embark on surprise exercises across the country to apprehend culprits evading tax.
He urged the public, especially customers who make taxable purchases, to always request and insist on their VAT invoices.