The Ghana Revenue Authority has given the strongest indication that it will in the coming days arrest and prosecute business owners who do not issue Value Added Tax (VAT) invoices to customers.
The move which is in line with the Authority’s mandate to improve voluntary compliance is also part of a larger goal to help the Authority achieve its revenue target of GH¢80.3 billion for the 2022 revenue collection year.
The initiative by the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, follows the roll-out of a special exercise by the GRA to ensure that businesses and customers act in accordance with the VAT Act, 2013 (Act 870) by charging, issuing and accounting for VAT appropriately.
The enforcement exercise which began on September 1, 2022 involves the invigilation of shops, mystery purchases and swoops across the country by GRA officials to ensure increased compliance.
Head of the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the GRA, Edward Appenteng Gyamerah while explaining the rationale behind the exercise to Citi Business News, also said revenue mobilization from VAT was low, thus the need for this exercise.
“While VAT collections in Nigeria, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, among others, averaged above 30 per cent of their total revenue, Ghana’s VAT revenue was around 20 per cent of its total collections,” he noted.
He also urged consumers to demand and take VAT invoices when they purchase items that are taxable to make it difficult for sellers to undercut the state.
“Some shop owners ask consumers if they will take invoices, and when the latter say no, the traders sell without the invoice value. This is illegal. It is in contravention of sections 58 and 59 of the VAT Act, which mandate businesses to issue invoices and for consumers,” he said.