Foreign firms under forensic audit over suspected tax evasion

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Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that experts have been contracted to work with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to conduct forensic audits of companies in priority sectors and undertake audits of multinational enterprises.

The move according to him is aimed at reshaping transactions that result in the nation losing huge monies from multinational companies.

Delivering the 2018 Mid Year Budget Review in parliament on Thursday, July,19, 2018, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that government is bringing the policy to monitor transfer pricing activities for the appropriate taxes to be levied.

“The Ghana Revenue Authority, in conjunction with the relevant state institutions, will embark on an exercise to prosecute and retrieve all Government revenues that have been held in abeyance or evaded due to tax evasion or malfeasance,” he warned.

He lamented that even though institutions and business persons are required to withhold and remit to the GRA specified sums from payments made to their suppliers and service providers, most of them fail to do so.

“Some of these persons fail to make the deductions, deduct the correct amounts or remit the sums to the GRA. The same applies to rent taxes. Audits have commenced to identify and recover these and other outstanding amounts”.

Recounting some measures taken by the government in the first half of 2018 to improve tax collection, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that the GRA launched a  campaign which commenced in April to increase the number of Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) registered persons.

This he said was targeted at encouraging the voluntary filing of tax returns.

He added that government also launched a general amnesty policy for taxpayers who would voluntarily register, file returns or pay outstanding arrears.

“The GRA will intensify education to enable as many taxpayers as possible take advantage of this window of opportunity to register and regularize their tax affairs,” he said.

By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana