GRA to retrieve under-declared taxes from telcos

GRA Acting Commissioner-General, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has said it is taking steps to address the recent brouhaha and accusations regarding under-declaring of taxes among telecommunications companies in the country; saying it is working on forwarding letters to them in a move to retrieve the ‘lost’ monies.

This comes after the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, made a claim in Parliament last month that the nation had made savings of GH¢1.5 billion in under-declared taxes of the telecommunications sector since implementation of the Common Platform (CP) managed by KelniGVG – noting that before introduction of the policy, GH¢470million in taxes was lost from potential under-declarations between 2015 to the first quarter of 2017.

Commenting on the issue in a media briefing organised by the GRA and Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRIMPAG), Acting Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said the issue is being addressed and letters in connection with under-declaring of taxes will be sent to the telecommunication companies.

“We have indeed done a lot of work on the telcos based on the work done by Kelni GVG and our own internal work. I want to assure you that at the right time we will be able to serve the various telcos with letters in regard to the additional revenues we expect from them.

“In fact, because we are still dealing with them, we do not want to make it public at this moment; but I can confirm that we will definitely be serving them with additional tax demand that is required,” Mr. Owusu-Amoah said.

The Commissioner-General added that some consultations are ongoing, and the GRA can provide firm communication on the matter after all engagements are complete.

PRINPAG’s call

The president of PRINPAG, Andrew Edwin Arthur, has urged the media to go all-out to expose tax evaders, as it is a good initiative to ensure that the state rakes in enough revenue to run affairs.

“Efforts are being made by some individual taxpayers and some corporate institutions to evade their tax obligations, and thereby deny the country the revenue it needs to champion development. I would like to respectfully urge the media to use our various outlets to expose such deviants in society, whose modus operandi is to cheat the system and deny the country of needed revenue.

“Colleagues of the media fraternity, I urge all of us to desist from allowing ourselves to be influenced in the course of our investigations to expose tax evaders whose operations are inimical to development and progress of the country,” Mr. Arthur said.

Meanwhile, a statement released by the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ken Ashigbey, denied the claims, saying: “Ghana’s mobile industry comprising leading global network operators – namely AirtelTigo, MTN and Vodafone – are good corporate citizens, showcasing an exemplary record of tax compliance as well as delivering on all their tax obligations”.

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