The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has refuted recent claims by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central in the Central Region, Kennedy Agyapong, that the Authority is unfairly investigating two of his companies.
According to the aspiring flagbearer hopeful of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), somebody is using the GRA to deliberately target two of his companies, a steel plant project and his existing cold store business because he has decided to contest for the flagbearership of the NPP and he is a loudmouth.
Mr. Agyapong speaking in an interview on Kumasi based Sompa TV said “[GRA] can never shut down my business because I’ll battle it. That steel plant alone will require 1000 workers, I will campaign for the youth. And you are going there because Kwame Agyapong is loudmouthed, because he wants to contest so you will destroy my business.”
However, a press statement issued by GRA and signed by Assistant Commissioner in charge of Communications and Public Affairs, Florence Asante, said it “has sighted a recording of a media interview by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central constituency, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong circulating on social media in which he accused GRA officials of constant harassment through unwarranted audits of his companies”.
“GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted.
“The purpose of such audits, are to measure and improve compliance whiles fine tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use” the GRA statement dated 13th March 2023 read.
“We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses. Furthermore, in the area of enforcement and compliance, GRA carries out invoice invigilation exercises to ascertain Value Added Tax (VAT) paid by VAT registered businesses.
“These exercises entail stationing staff on the premises of VAT registered businesses such as shops, restaurants and manufacturing sites to check the issuance of VAT invoices” the statement further noted.
Explaining the rationale behind the risk-based activities of the GRA, the statement noted; “In September 2022, invigilation exercises were intensified nationwide in order to enforce the issuance of VAT invoices and to encourage persons who buy goods and patronize services to demand for VAT invoices.
“This exercise was very successful and GRA intends to scale up the invoice invigilation exercise from April 2023 as part of its revenue mobilization efforts.
“In carrying out all these enforcement and compliance activities, staff of GRA have been advised to remain professional and act at all times with integrity as required by the Authority’s Code of Ethics and Conduct” the press release read.
The management of GRA assured business owners and the lawmaker of professionalism saying that “they wish to assure Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and all taxpayers of our readiness to receive complaints and feedback on our work as we partner to mobilise revenue for national development”.
The Authority therefore called on Mr. Agyapong, all well-meaning Ghanaians and taxpayers to report any suspicious activities of their staff to them, assuring that their complaints will receive prompt attention.
“We also wish to state that GRA remains committed to carrying out its mandate of revenue mobilization with integrity, fairness and utmost professionalism” the statement read.
By Vincent Kubi