GRA locks up ACCL for GH₵2.3m tax default

The Debt Management and Compliance Enforcement unit of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has sealed-off the offices of clearing agency Africa Cargo Central Limited, for defaulting in tax payments to the tune of GH₵2.3million.

According to John Buabeng, the Chief Revenue Officer in charge of Recovery at the Debt, Management, Enforcement and Compliance unit of the GRA, the company has refused to meet with the Authority to design a repayment module after several notices.

Speaking to journalists after locking up the company’s offices in Tema on Wednesday, Rev. John Buabeng warned that the company has ten days to settle the debt.

“We are here this afternoon at Africa Central Cargo as they owe the GRA GH₵2.3m; it was an audit done between 2013 and 2016. There are other VATs involved – the company’s income tax and withholding taxes which also include PAYE from 2013 to 2016.

“The audit has long been completed and ACCL has been given the opportunity severally to pay. We served him a notice of tax liability and final demand notice; so, when the final demand notice came and he still had not responded, we had to take a warrant to come and seal-off the place,” he said.

He also indicated that when they came and discussed with the proprietor [Jabbour Akhary], he was still not ready to pay and they had no option other than seal-off the place.

Furthermore, he maintained that officials of ACCL will have to go to the Tema Office and make a satisfactory arrangement, and pay his liability, before the GRA can come back to open-up the company.

Rev. Buabeng also disclosed that if the company fails to honour its tax liabilities GRA will forward the case to its legal department for further action.

He encouraged the public, especially tax defaulters, to go to any GRA office and make a satisfactory arrangement to settle the tax liability; otherwise, by the regulations, they will come and enforce a seal off or a distress – “We will attach your property or we will seal-off”.

The more a company or a business delays in tax payments [PAYE], withholding tax, income tax there are more penalties and interests.

GRA has warned strongly that it will intensify its prosecutorial powers on businesses and persons who default in the payment of taxes after expiration of a tax amnesty period this year.