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GRA closes down two hotels over tax infractions

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has shut down two hotels in Accra for failure to issue VAT/NHIL invoices.

This follows investigations conducted by the BNI that showed only 3 out of 42 businesses issue VAT invoices to customers who patronized goods and services.

The hotels; Adeko and New Haven which are among the 42 investigated, will face various degrees of punishment including a jail term of up to six months.

The Head of Revenue Tax Mobilization, Henry Bradford Sam, gave the caution when he spoke to Citi Business News on the issue.

“The Ghana Revenue Authority has clamped down on businesses that fail to issue the VAT invoice or issue their own invoice or do what we call selective issuance of VAT invoice”, he said.

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“The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) assisted the Ghana Revenue Authority and carried out due diligence through test purchase and examined that the number of tax payers who totaled forty two, only three issued the VAT invoice. Thirty nine of them were found to be issuing their own invoice or no invoice at all or what we call selective issuance of VAT invoice, this in contrary to the law”, he added.

The joint operation between officers of the GRA and the law enforcement agencies is being carried out to take possession of and have access to business records of delinquent taxpayers who fail to issue VAT/NHIL invoices to customers. The exercise will also determine the tax liability arising out of the infractions of the laws, pursuant to Section 33 of the Revenue Administration Act 2016, Act 915.

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Guilty persons may also be charged to pay an amount of not more than five hundred currency points or three times the amount of tax involved, depending on which amount is highest.

Meanwhile the Ghana Tourism Authority has also closed down about 20 hotels operating illegally in the Eastern Region.

The hotels situated in Adawso, Mamfe, Akropong, Aburi and Akuapem have been operating for years, without a license.

According to the Eastern Regional Manager of the Authority, Rudolf Adjei Fredrick, the clamp down is aimed maintaining the standards of the tourism industry.

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“For every business that you want to involve yourself in there are rules and regulations that govern it. In the hospitality industry, specifically hotels and guest houses they need to be registered and licensed by the Ghana Tourism Authoritry before they can be registered but we have come to the realization over the years that most of them are operating without a valid license,  and before that we ensure that you have the basic facilities to operate”.

He added that the exercise will also protect the public from patronizing substandard services.

“It’s quite evident they are given substandard services and there is no way we can license them. After the exercise we will hand over their keys to the police service and give them time to come forward, if they don’t come forward then we will process the documents to our head office in Accra for possible persecution”.

By: Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

Ghana Business News