GRA to go after telcos over tax returns

Sources at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has revealed that the Authority is ready to go after telecommunication companies who are under-declaring their tax revenues and  causing huge financial loss to the country They again mentioned that government is currently losing billions of cedis as a result of  this revenue under-declaration by some of these telcos. It can be recalled that when the  Minister  for Communication and Digitilisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, took her turn at the ministerial vetting, she revealed government had been able to save an estimated GH¢1.5 billion in revenue losses through the Common Platform (CP) managed by KelniGvG. Refreshing as that news was ,tongues are still wagging that there could possibly be losses in revenue generation and collection. The Minister disclosed that the amount is in addition to some GH¢470 million in revenue taxes saved between the first quarter of 2017, when the platform was announced and that the amount could not have been realised if not for the implementation of the Common Platform.  Speaking to some tax analysts, they demanded to know why some foreign companies are allegedly  taking to their home country astronomical profits they make monies away and whether or not some of them owe billions in Tax returns. Meanwhile, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications last year denied claims that the telcos were under declaring tax revenues due government. A statement issued by the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Ing. Ken Ashigbey said the telcos have been open with industry regulators and as good corporate citizens, members of the chamber have an exemplary record of tax compliance and delivering on their tax obligations. “The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications wishes to refer to a press conference held on the November 14, 2019 on the Common Monitoring Platform. At the press conference. Mobile Network Operators were alleged to have under-declared government revenue and have been inconsistent in reporting of tax revenues to the Government of Ghana. “We wish to state that these claims have not been brought to the attention of our members and on the contrary, interim reports received from the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) regarding Common Platform findings do not support these allegations. The Chamber is deeply concerned that standard audit principles and practice that have characterized our dealings with regulators have been breached. We would expect any such findings, if indeed the case, to be shared with our members for their response and reconciliation before onward engagement with the media. “As good corporate citizens, our members have an exemplary record of tax compliance and delivering on their tax obligations. Financial reporting procedures for the industry are rigorous, and these include regular audits by the GRA as well as periodic ones by the National Communication Authority (NCA). This is in addition to assessments by blue-chip external auditors with world-class reputations. “We have written to the GRA requesting that they furnish our members with these reports so to enable us to review and respond appropriately. We will once again entreat Government through the GRA to engage our members and other industry players on serious reputational issues such as these before conclusions are drawn and same circulated with the public. The effect of no-consultations is dire to the growth of our industry and investor confidence in our markets.” By 3news.com|Ghana

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