GRA seals off Africa Central Cargo offices

Accra The Ghana Revenue Authority on Wednesday closed down the offices of Africa Central Cargo, a clearing agent, at Tema for owing the Authority, an amount of GH2.3 million, between the period of 2013 and 2016.

The company, after being audited from 2013 to 2016 involving its VAT, company income tax, and withholding taxes, which included PAYE, was given several opportunities to make payments, but did not.

Rev. John Yaw Boabeng, Chief Revenue Officer in charge of Recovery, Debt Management, Compliance and Enforcement Unit, GRA, said the audit was long completed and a notice of tax liability was served to the company on several occasions.

The audit has long been completed; the tax payer has been given the opportunity severally to pay. We served him a notice of tax liability, another notice and then final demand notice.

He said when the final demand notice was given to the owner, Jabor Akare and he still had not responded, The GRA had to take a warrant to come and seal off the place, so we came and discussed it with him but he is not ready to pay, so we have no option than to seal off the place.

He said usually, the more defaulters delay in the payment, the more their penalties, saying of all the taxes computed, the company income tax, VAT, and the withholding taxes, once there is a delay in payments, there will be interest and penalty.

Rev Boabeng noted that they were forced to seal off the office because the owner claimed he did not have the money to pay and also because he had been given several opportunities after the audit to make satisfactory arrangements, which he had not done, they could not take his word for anything.

He has not shown a proper commitment to settling the liability, and that is why we have to come this far. If he was committed to it, he would have been paying regularly and the local office would not have escalated his file for us to come and seal off the place, he noted.

When the audit was done as far back as last year, he was written to and he had the option to come, if he had done that, he would have had the option of paying by instalment, but he took GRA for granted, and his file was sent to the head office, but now, he has to pay outright or have his company sealed off.

Rev Boabeng stated that the Tema office, for which he falls under would be going to inspect whether they have tampered with the seal or not and ensure that nothing had gone wrong with the taping on a daily basis within the next 10 days.

He said after this seal off, the company would have to respond within 10 working days, by going to the Tema office to make a satisfactory arrangement with the office to pay and if he fails to so, GRA would have to proceed and forward the case to the legal department.

He advised the public and companies that owe the GRA to go to their offices make a satisfactory arrangement to settle the tax liability or face the consequences.

Source: Ghana News Agency