The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has served notice to pursue and recover every pesewa owed to the state, after a ‘swoop’ at the Kumasi office of Hippo Limited, which is now vacated, over a default in payment of duties estimated at GH¢1,362,408,600.
According to the Principal Revenue Officer of the Debt Management, Compliance and Enforcement Unit of GRA, Nathaniel Tetteh, the Authority is determined to ensure that businesses and individuals honor their tax obligations.
Against this backdrop, he said all efforts are being made, under the directive of the Commissioner General, including possible prosecution of defaulting companies, to recover monies due to the state.
He explained for instance Hippo Limited, a general commodities trading company, had failed to declare and pay duties on goods imported and kept at the bonded warehouse of the authority. This was detected after some auditing was carried about the activities of the company.
It was for this reason that a simultaneous exercise to recover the monies from the company was carried out, by the GRA, both at the company’s Tema and Kumasi offices.
However, it turned out that the company had closed and vacated its Kumasi office but notwithstanding the turn of event, the officials of GRA disclosed that they have been informed that the office has been moved to Accra.
The head of the operations was optimistic that the exercise in the Tema office will enable them to trace and recover the debt owed.
Responding to some questions, in an interview with the media after the exercise, he maintained that the GRA is not at fault for the attempt by the company to evade payment of duties particularly given the number of taxpayers it deals with.
He said “it is a compliant duty of the taxpayer to declare whatever the taxpayer has done and pay appropriately,” failure to do so will attract some sanctions. It is, therefore, for this reason, that he said auditing is carried out periodically to ensure compliance.
He entreated businesses and taxpayers to endeavor to comply with their tax obligation, particularly those who are indebted to GRA.
“This is an exercise to serve as a signal to every taxpayer who is indebted to the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Commissioner-General is determined to retrieve every debt.”
Some members of the GRA taskforce interacting with the media after their operations, in Kumasi