The Member of Parliament in an interview over the weekend said GRA officials have been harassing businesses belonging to him.
GRA denies harassing Kennedy Agyapong (Full statement)
The Ghana Revenue Authority has denied allegations of harassment by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker, Kennedy Agyapong.
The Assin Central legislator said his businesses are under attack because of his decision to run for president.
The maverick NPP stalwart opined that state institutions are obstructing and intimidating him in his quest to contest and lead the party in the 2024 elections.
Mr. Agyapong further noted that he has never been harassed like this before under any government, but his own government is doing this to him.
But the GRA in a swift response to the MP’s allegations explained in a statement that its officials have been carrying out their mandate in accordance with World Customs Organization guidelines, ensuring adherence to best practices.
The Authority also said claims of an unjustified audit of the MP’s companies’ accounts are false.
“The purpose of such audits is to measure and improve compliance while fine-tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use. We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses”, it said in a release.
“GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted.”
Read the GRA's full statement below:
ALLEGED HARASSMENT OF HON. KENNEDY AGYAPONGBY GRA
Management of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has sighted a recording of a media interview by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central constituency, Honourable Kennedy Agyapong circulating on social media in which he accused GRA Officials of constant harassment through unwarranted audits of his companies.
GRA wishes to categorically refute the specific allegation of harassment at a factory under construction owned by the MP. We wish to clarify that as part of GRA’s mandate and in line with World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) guidelines in ensuring adherence to best practices; such exercises are regularly conducted. The purpose of such audits, are to measure and improve compliance whiles fine tuning controls. The factory in question together with other companies were thus audited to check the value of goods imported and their intended use.
We wish to disclose that in January and February 2023, about thirty (30) of such risk-based activities were carried out on a number of businesses. Furthermore, in the area of enforcement and compliance, GRA carries out invoice invigilation exercises to ascertain Value Added Tax (VAT) paid by VAT registered businesses. These exercises entail stationing staff on the premises of VAT registered businesses such as shops, restaurants and manufacturing sites to check the issuance of VAT invoices.
In September 2022, invigilation exercises were intensified nationwide in order to enforce the issuance of VAT invoices and to encourage persons who buy goods and patronize services to demand for VAT invoices. This exercise was very successful and GRA intends to scale up the invoice invigilation exercise from April 2023 as part of its revenue mobilization efforts.
In carrying out all these enforcement and compliance activities, staff of GRA have been advised to remain professional and act at all times with integrity as required by the Authority’s Code of Ethics and Conduct.
We therefore encourage any member of the public who has evidence of any alleged corrupt practice by an official of the Authority to report such criminal acts to the Management of GRA on 0800-900-110 for redress.
Management wishes to use this opportunity to assure Honourable Kennedy Agyapong and all taxpayers of our readiness to receive complaints and feedback on our work as we partner to mobilise revenue for national development. We also wish to state that GRA remains committed to carrying out its mandate of revenue mobilization with integrity, fairness and utmost professionalism.
FLORENCE ASANTE (MRS)
COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
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