E-VAT in limbo: Retail outlets suck economy dry – Nation loses billions in revenue

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The Daily Graphic has uncovered that many retail outlets in the country are not complying with the Ghana Revenue Authority’s (GRA) directive and the law on the electronic Value Added Tax (e-VAT) invoicing system, more than 18 months after the initiative took off. 

While the Value Added Tax (Amendment) No. 2 Act, 2022 (Act 870) enjoins eligible companies, thousands of them, to comply with the e-VAT, almost all the companies listed to integrate their billing and receipting system to a GRA designated system are refusing to do so, thereby denying the state millions of Ghana cedis monthly, which translates into billions of cedis a year.

About a week-long mystery shopping conducted by the Daily Graphic revealed widespread non-compliance as an overwhelming number of companies defied the order to issue receipts only electronically through an interface with the GRA’s system.

While a few well-known establishments had successfully adopted the system, a significant number of businesses, both small and large, were found to be non-compliant and also lacked the necessary infrastructure to adhere to the directive.

The checks revealed that some businesses were either unaware of the directive or were deliberately flouting the GRA’s directive. Many of the companies the Daily Graphic spoke to claimed the GRA was not taking steps to migrate them, while others said they had exemptions from the authority but could not provide any proof.

Daily Graphic’s checks also revealed that the pilot phase of the exercise increased revenue tremendously beyond expectations. This means any further delays in migrating all the companies onto the system deny the country millions of Ghana cedis monthly, translating into billions every year.

This is critical, especially when the government is hard pressed for additional revenue to close the budget deficit and also meet revenue thresholds agreed on with the International Monetary Fund under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme.

Electronic system

The GRA introduced the modified e-VAT system through the Taxation (Use of Fiscal Electronic Device) Act, 2018 (Act 966) in October 2022, to improve revenue received from VAT.


Source: graphic.com.gh

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Kennedy Mornah is an Award Winning Ghanaian Journalist with over two decades of experience in the Ghanaian Media landscape spanning the electronic, print and digital media. He is a Media Consultant, a Corporate MC, Radio and TV Host, Founder and Publisher of the Maritime and Transport Digest Newspaper, Businessman, a Go getter and an optimist. He has worked for renowned media organizations including Diamond Fm in Tamale, Luv Fm in Kumasi, Oman Fm in Accra and Starr Fm in Accra In 2017 he received the Reporter of the Year Award at the Ghana Shippers Awards in Accra, Ghana.

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