Citi Business News has learnt that the Ghana Union of Traders Association, GUTA, failed to present its petition to the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Friday over the closure of the shops of its members dealing in mobile phones.
A total of 44 shops were on Thursday closed down at the Tip Toe lane near the Kwame Nkrumah Circle by the Special Revenue Mobilization Task force for failing to charge VAT on their products.
But the shop owners criticized the GRA of a limited notice explaining that they feel slighted.
The traders cited that there were ongoing discussions with the GRA over the huge taxes hence they deem the act unjustified.
An Executive Member of GUTA, Benjamin Yeboah who has been speaking to Citi News on the matter maintains that the petition which will among other things demand a reduction in VAT since the talk tax is still in force.
“The mobile phone traders are not paying VAT because of the talk tax that has been imposed on them and therefore if the GRA intends to levy VAT justifying that with the Income Tax Act 870, then what prevents them from sitting to negotiate the issue with them,” he noted.
Mr. Yeboah was however optimistic that the union will present the petition by next Monday.
Benjamin Yeboah however fears the situation could escalate if measures are not put in place to solve the issue as early as possible.
“What is going to GRA is more or less in two folds; one is to show our displeasure at the way the task force acted and secondly, to appeal with them to get the shops of our members opened so that we go in that amicable way we all want. Because if that is not done then we are going to have a problem on our hands when the agitations start,” he intimated.
Traders protest increase in VAT flat rate to 17.5%
GUTA has for some time now raised concerns over the GRA’s decision to charge 17.5 percent VAT flat rate on operations of its members.
The union insists that the move to raise the rate from the 3 percent to 17.5 percent is inimical to businesses.
The development has since culminated in negotiations with the Revenue Authority for a rebate.
The discussions are however yet to yield any positive results.
The Director of the Special Revenue Mobilisation task force of the GRA, Theophilus Gaskin believes his outfit is justified with the decision to close down the shops as some of the traders are due to be migrated unto the 17.5 percent VAT mark.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana