The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for non-compliance to the electronic Value Added Tax (VAT) system.
They include two foreign nationals, who are the managers of Palace Shopping Mall at Community 25 in Tema and Max Mart East Legon Branch and a Ghanaian, who is a senior official at Second Cup Coffee Shop at Dzorwulu in Accra.
The officials, whose names were not disclosed, were arrested after disregarding an initial caution by the GRA on the issuance of E-VAT invoices and other illegal practices to evade taxes.
The three persons were sent to the headquarters of the GRA for their statements before they were handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police.
The initiative is part of an ongoing nationwide VAT invigilation exercise to ensure tax compliance and retrieve taxes due the State.
Mr Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of Accra Central GRA, who led the exercise, said, the managers of the Palace Shopping Mall duplicated the serial numbers of invoices, thereby recording multiple sales of items under one unit.
He said, each item sold was expected to have a separate VAT invoice in order to adequately account for taxes paid by customers.
The two other businesses, he noted, were also involved in the non-issuance of E-VAT invoice.
The Authority, Mr Annan said, was undertaking inspection at the various branches of nine taxpayers after it found that they were issuing invoices that were not certified by the Commissioner-General as required by law.
He said under section 41 of the VAT Act 2013, (Act 870) as amended by Act 1082 and Act 1087, every registered VAT taxpayer was required to issue an electronic VAT invoice with details that are prescribed by the Commissioner General when they provided services or supplied goods.
Others, however, he noted, had failed to integrate the certified invoicing system into the invoicing system of the GRA Commissioner General.
Mr Annan stated that the punishment for such infractions was a fine of not more than 100 penalty units or a term of imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, in addition to a payment of penalty of an amount of not more than GH¢50,000 or three times the amount of tax involved.
He said people who flouted the law could also be charged under sections 78 and 82 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) that focused on failure to comply with a tax law and impeding tax administration, respectively.
The Authority, he noted, had deployed its officials across the country to fish out companies that were not complying with the law.
He stated that the GRA would prosecute all persons found to have committed offences and urged the public and all VAT taxpayers to report any tax infractions to the Authority for the necessary action to be taken.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS
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