Business Associations have lashed out at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), for failing to retrieve taxes from shop owners and small tax payers.
According to them, majority of shop owners do not pay taxes and the GRA have turned a blind eye on them.
The businesses also argue that the development is affecting the general tax income of the economy as it has led to huge revenue losses to the country.
“What this means is that the GRA itself is adopting a lazy approach in collecting taxes. All the shops in Ghana, scattered all over the country and on the streets, about 80% are not paying taxes. If it comes to actual revenue, most of them are not paying”, the Executive Secretary of the Food and Beverages Association, Samuel Aggrey told Citi Business News.
He however charged the GRA to introduce a much efficient means of retrieving taxes.
“So if everybody is contributing a little quota you will realize that the large tax collection will be out there and it is still out there which we are not collecting. All that the GRA needs to do is to introduce a very simplified method that will allow everyone to come on board and pay,” he stated.
GRA rejects claims
Reacting to this however, the Chief Revenue Officer at the Large Tax Payer Office of the GRA, Dominic Naab debunked the claim.
He maintained that his outfit is doing its best to retrieve all revenue from all traders.
Mr. Naab however admitted to the need for the traders to be sincere and contribute their quota to government without being approached.
“I am not too sure that is exactly the case but the Act 896 of 2015 that we passed is to ensure that we really are able to get all those who are not paying, onboard. But you also agree with me that we are trying to ensure voluntary tax compliance.”
“You are doing business, you are making money, and you should pay your quota. When roads are not good people complain, when salaries are not paid early people complain and we need money to be able to do that so when the monies are not coming, then it becomes a problem,” he added.
Mr Naab further assured that culprits found guilty of not paying their taxes will be subjected to severe penalty.
“There are penalties and we will make sure offenders are punished accordingly.”
He spoke to Citi Business News at the sidelines of a tax education seminar organized by the GRA to educate clients on the changes in tax laws in Ghana.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana