The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), yesterday shut down the offices of Abraham Construction and Electricals Limited (ACEL), because it issued cheques that were always dishonoured.
Two other companies — Viasat Broadcasting Ghana Limited (VGBL) and K. Asenso Limited, managed to pay GH¢ 123,236 and GH¢ 2,937 respectively to meet their tax obligations.
According to Mr Henry Sam, a Senior Revenue Officer of the GRA, ACEL owed GH¢16,582 in taxes for which it issued three cheques on September 30, 2012; October 30, 2012 and November 30, 2012, but all of them bounced.
The GRA official said the authority was compelled to shut down the company because all its attempts to get the company’s officials to honour their tax obligations did not yield any fruit.
Section 34(2) of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 1998 (Act 546) and Section 136 of the Internal Revenue Service Act 2,000 (Act 592) mandate the GRA to take possession of the assets of companies that fail to meet their tax obligations and sell them to offset the debt.
When the team arrived at the offices of the ACEL at Kokomlemle in Accra, only a secretary was in the office. When her attempt to reach her boss failed, the GRA officials sealed off the office.
At the VBGL, the management of the company coughed up the entire money but it was not without drama as a finance officer of the company raised doubts about the money demanded by the GRA officials as the company’s tax liabilities. After some minutes of cross-checking the figures, however, reason prevailed and the company paid the entire amount.
K. Asenso Limited had to pay GH¢2,937 after a tax audit of its operations so the managing director of the company issued a cheque for the amount.
Mr Sam said the GRA would continue to pursue all companies that had failed to pay their taxes and, therefore, urged all companies that defaulted in the payment of their tax obligations to pay up or face the consequences.