The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) have arrested five employees of some quarrying companies for various infractions, including non-issuance of Value Added Tax (VAT) receipts.
They were arrested last Wednesday, December 7, during an enforcement exercise by the GRA on VAT compliance at stone quarrying sites across the country.
The exercise was aimed at shoring up revenue to meet the authority’s GH¢80.3 billion tax target for the year 2022.
The companies were four Chinese companies – E & H Quarry Limited, Atlantic Rock Quarry Products Company Limited, China Railway Wuju Quarry, Quality Quarry and a Ghanaian company – Paul Addai Stone Quarry Limited.
The companies were located at Sakyikrom Nsawam Adoagyiri in the Akwapim South District of the Eastern Region.
The Area Enforcement Manager of Accra Central, GRA, Joseph Annan, who led a team of officers from GRA, said test purchases had indicated that most operators at quarries did not issue the VAT invoice.
He said it was, therefore, important for them to embark on the exercise.
Mr Annan said items such as VAT invoices, company invoices, computer system units, waybills, laptops and company documents were retrieved from the companies to assist them to conduct a full-scale investigation to ascertain the revenue loss.
“We have picked up employees of these companies, the CID will conduct their investigations and then we will also do our pre-emptive and recommend them for a full audit.
“Once the investigations are done, the CID will refer the case to our legal unit for possible prosecution,” he added.
Mr Annan said although the companies were registered, they did not issue or did selective issuance of the VAT invoice.
“So we intercepted vehicles from the quarries and checked their documentation to see whether they have the appropriate documents covering the stones.
“Unfortunately, many of them didn’t have that. This exercise was done some three weeks ago and today, we decided to arrest them for prosecution,” Mr Annan said.
He explained that the exercise, which originally started in September and continued last week at Shai Osu Doku District in the Greater Accra Region, was critical to shoring up revenue.
Mr Annan said since the start of the enforcement exercise in September, the defaulting companies had cooperated with them which had yielded a positive result.
“The exercise is yielding very positive results. For instance, from what we did in September, we were able to raise over GH¢800,000 by way of on-the-spot assessment on some of the companies picked up for investigations and we have collected everything,” he said.
Besides, they had also started working on the necessary documents picked up at the five companies by way of a full or comprehensive audit.
Touching on the way forward, Mr Annan said the public had been supportive and added that a lot of them had sent to the GRA invoices of purchases they had made, which he said they would follow up on.
“Aside from that, Christmas is approaching so very soon we will go into the hospitality industry, that is the pubs, restaurants and hotels since it is their peak period,” he noted.