GRA initiates night-swoops for pubs, restaurants as festive season enforcements begin

Joseph Annan, Head of Enforcement-GRA, Accra Central

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has begun test purchase operations within the hospitality industry as part of enforcements for the festive season, with an assurance to include night surveillances to clamp down on recalcitrant VAT defaulters.

Head of Enforcement, Accra Central Unit-GRA, Joseph Annan – speaking to the B&FT at the end of a third week of the Authority’s enforcement exercise, said pubs, restaurants, casinos and event centres will take a chunk of GRA’s compliance agenda in the coming weeks.

“We intend to do this because of the season, as most of these enterprises operate mainly at night. This is not to say our focus on other sectors have waned. We can go back anytime to do spot-checks,” he said.

In the last three weeks, the Authority has arrested operators of 15 stone and sand quarry sites operating at Shai Hills, Nsawam and the Gomoa enclave.

Within the three weeks, operators of six departmental shops within the A&C Shopping Mall and two supermarkets at Dansoman were also apprehended for various VAT infractions; including non-registration, non-issuance and selective issuance.

But Mr. Annan disclosed that investigations for these various defaulting companies have already started, as key documents including personal receipts, own-invoices, laptop machines and other records were retrieved to further assist investigations.

The quest to meet the GH¢80.3bn aim

The GRA, Mr. Annan said, has a one-month target of raising about GH¢15billion in December this year, to meet the overall GH¢80.3billion annual target.

“We are determined, and we are certain that we can meet the target. However, we need citizens’ support and the collaboration of businesses to realise this ambition. Every taxpayer must contribute to build the nation,” he said.

Since September, the Authority has invigilated more than 175 taxpayers; and it has resolved to do more in the coming weeks.

The GRA maintains that taxpayers are its key stakeholders, and it operates with them on the premise of trust.

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