The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has begun enforcement of VAT compliance at stone and sand quarry sites across the country, with the aim of shoring-up revenue to meet its GH¢80.3billion tax target for the year.
The Authority says its ongoing activity forms part of a series of enforcement to be done before end of the year, as major emphasis will move to the hospitality sector during the festive season.
In a compliance exercise that started this week, five Chinese firms – Top Stone Quarry, Uniafrika, Massaike & Sabbagh Company Ltd., Derby Quarry Ltd., and Orient Quarry located at the Shai Osudoku District Assembly – and Twin Rock Quarry (Ghanaian-owned) were shut down for various infractions including non-issuance and selective issuance of VAT receipts.
Area Enforcement Manager of Accra Central-GRA Joseph Annang, who led the exercise, said the visit to the sites are a continuation of what was begun in September this year.
“Compliance really improved when we started in September, and that has been evident in our collection. This latest exercise puts focus on quarries across the country and is an integral part of the national economy. We have moved our focus from commerce to the quarry sector. Our test purchases have indicated that most operators at quarries do not issue the VAT invoice,” he said.
Key items intercepted at the sites were idle VAT invoices, waybills, company invoices, computer system units, laptops and company documents.
The GRA indicated that these items will assist in carrying out full-scale investigations to ascertain the amount and extent of revenue loss.
Meanwhile, Ag. Head of Operations at the GRA, Kwesi Eghan, debunked the notion that the Authority has relaxed in its quest to ensure compliance.
He said enforcement through invigilation and mystery-shopping or test purchases are key strategies of the Authority which cannot be relegated to the background.
“These are compliance tools for revenue collection. Since September, we have invigilated about 175 taxpayers. Taxpayers are our stakeholders and we operate with them on the premise of trust,” he said.
Mr. Eghan however reiterated the Authority’s resolve to enforce compliance in the hospitality sector during the festive season.
“These are plans to meet our target and deepen the country’s growth prospects toward revenue mobilisation,” he added.