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457 companies owe government Ghc4.4bn in tax revenue

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The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) sent letters to about 112 of such companies but that yielded no results.

The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that about 457 companies operating in Ghana, owe duties estimated at GHS4 billion, with other companies in the Domestic Tax Revenue Department, owing GHS 400 million.

Speaking to Goldstreet business, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) sent letters to about 112 of such companies but that yielded no results.

He added that this is worrying since the GRA is working tirelessly to ensure that taxpayers comply with regulations concerning tax payment. However, most companies remain adamant to comply.

He said “there was the need to do more to increase tax compliance through strict enforcement. We need to sit down to negotiate getting this debts paid by the institutions involved.”

Statistics show that less than 30 per cent of the six million individual taxpayers nationwide are registered with the GRA. Of the six million, approximately 1.2 million work as employees.

Value Added Tax penetration ratio currently stands at 11 percent, far below an expected penetration rate of 22-25 percent.

Ghana’s top 15 debtors, with their principle and penalties and interests, sums up to GHS3 billion. Out of 888 PAYE companies nationwide, about 540 of them, comprising 67 percent pays regularly, with 350 having issues with regard to compliance, with the rest 223 making no attempt to file.

“The calculations clearly show that we are not doing well. The country currently derives GHS10 billion from VAT each year, but that could have doubled if companies are complying,” the Minister maintained.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the GRA introduced the TIN registration to bring an inclusive adherence to tax compliance, particularly for large taxpayers.

He added that measures are in the pipeline and will soon be executed to ensure that Ghana derives maximum gains from taxes.

“The GRA and MoF will review the exemptions rule for mining companies to block the loopholes. We’ll also block the inbound leakages from the Customs area as they do not have full oversight of the goods that arrive in the country; scan machines frequently break down due to manipulations or are of poor quality,” he said.

He further stated that there will be the strict enforcement of rules to ensure such anomalies do not go unpunished.

 

Source: pulsenewsgh

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