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TJC-Ghana charges EOCO, Parliament to go after GRA staff over tax malpractices


Date: Saturday June 8, 2019, 7:57 am


By: WatchGhana.Com


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Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner General-GRA
The Tax Justice Coalition of Ghana (TJC-Ghana) has called on the Finance Committee of Parliament, the Economic and Organised Crime Office, Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to take keen interest in the alleged illicit granting of tax waivers, aiding taxpayer to evade tax and the destruction of important tax history files by some officers at the GRA offices in Osu and others as reported by the New Crusading Guide on 27th May, 2019. 

The Coalition is demanding thorough independent investigations by the EOCO, Office of the Special Prosecutor or the Finance Committee of Parliament; punish the officers if found culpable and most importantly establish the circumstances that led to those infractions in order to prevent future occurrences.

In a statement issued in Accra and signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Leonard Shang-Quartey, the Coalition maintained that the allegations if not probed, would affect the integrity of GRA, especially at this crucial moment it [GRA] had embarked on an intensive revenue mobilization exercise, which needs the cooperation of all stakeholders.

The statement indicated that “If these reports are confirmed, the infractions will be in clear contravention of section 76 (1) of the of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915) which states that: “A person who knowingly or without reasonable excuse aids, abets, counsels or induces another person to commit an offence under section 78 to 84 is liable to pay a penalty of one hundred percent of the tax shortfall.”

It urged that as the revenue collection agency demands of citizens and companies to faithfully honour their tax obligations, it behooved on the same GRA to engender to build trust with citizens. Adding, “Malpractices such as those described in the news report, if found to be true, will not only lead to revenue loss to the state but also erode the trust of the public in the GRA and its officials, because it demonstrates unfairness in the tax administration and discourages citizens from honouring their tax obligations”. 


The Tax Justice Coalition of Ghana asserted that it had picked reports that the GRA’s own initial investigations into the issues were being frustrated by some personnel at the GRA, especially at the Osu RE office.

However, TJC – Ghana was encouraged by the reported interest and initial action being taken by the GRA Commissioner General on the issue but insisted that the proposed independent investigations would be conducted in a more transparent manner to unearth the truth surrounding the allegations. 

The Coalition called on GRA to furnish Ghanaians with answers from its initial investigations on the veracity or otherwise of the allegations made: 
1) Are tax officers really in a position to grant unapproved tax waivers to companies in Ghana? 
2) Can the GRA assure Ghanaians that this case, if found to be true, is an isolated case and is not likely to happen in other GRA offices? 
3) Is the destruction of/and hiding of tax files and taxpayer records common practices in the GRA offices across the country? 
4) Are there instances of sanctions in cases where this has been detected? 
5) Was there any collusion between an automobile company and tax officials at the Osu office to evade tax? 
6) Is the accused officer currently on suspension or interdiction while the investigations are going on? 

TJC –Ghana described the reports as serious allegations that should not be swept under the carpet, and thus called for reforms in GRA’s operation to curtail such practices in the future.

Source: WatchGhana.Com

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Author: WatchGhana.Com    Verified

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