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Ghana: Nana B bemoans the placement of GRA officers at supermarkets to collect taxes.

Henry Nana Boakye, National Organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has criticised the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for its new methods of ensuring stores and supermarkets pay their taxes.

According to him, stationing GRA officials at the entrance to the stores is counter-productive.

He contended that the tactic would have been acceptable only if it had targeted businesses that had been shown to be avoiding or under-declaring their taxes.

The NPP National Organiser in a statement said the “widespread approach of stationing revenue officers at businesses is counterproductive, oppressive, repressive, and suppressive.”

“We are not in normal times – businesses and individuals are bearing the brunt of the twin global crisis and their concomitant economic agony – and the least expected from GRA is to police traders whom no tax evasion findings have been made against.”

“In this day of technology, GRA should adopt welcoming and pleasant ways of revenue collection strategy that engenders revenue assurance. This strategy is weak and lame since Revenue Officers stationed at these shops and businesses can be compromised to aid owners to evade or under-declare their taxes. GRA should rather strive to reduce human contact in revenue collection and employ technological solutions to take taxes from businesses,” he added.

GRA’s Public Relations unit, in his opinion, is extinct.

“Paying taxes is not a pleasant thing and for that matter, a responsive PR approach must be adopted to educate the tax-paying population about their programmes and activities.”

In related news, the Ghana Revenue Authority has shut down Palace Mall’s Labone, Spintex, Atomic roundabout, and Weija branches for failing to comply with the authority’s E-VAT Invoicing system.

According to GRA, a restricted group of stores has purposefully refused to issue VAT invoices electronically when clients come in to make purchases.

According to the GRA, the refusal of these stores to follow its directive provides signals that they are under-declaring tax.

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