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KPMG Audit: SML's GH¢31.88m tax debt to GRA exposed

A comprehensive KPMG report, released by President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, May 22, has disclosed that Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) owes the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) GH¢31.88 million in unpaid taxes.

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This debt, which spans eight months of service provision, includes accrued interest amounting to GH¢18.50 million as of January 31, 2024.

The report by the renowned accounting and advisory firm highlights that SML has failed to meet its statutory obligations by neither filing tax returns nor remitting the owed taxes to the GRA.

Specifically, the report states, "During the period from 1 September 2020 to 30 April 2021, a bulk payment to SML covering invoices for an eight-month period did not include VAT and WHT deductions, amounting to GH¢13.38 million. This contradicts GRA's standard practice of deducting such taxes for payments to SML between 1 June 2020 and 31 August 2023."

Furthermore, the report emphasizes, "SML failed to fulfill its statutory obligations by neither filing returns nor remitting these taxes to GRA. Pursuant to Section 71(1) of the RA Act, the accrued interest on the tax liability is estimated at GH¢18.50 million owed by SML to GRA as of 31 January 2024. Consequently, the total liability incurred by SML amounts to GH¢31.88 million."

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KPMG's audit revealed the discrepancy and subsequently informed the GRA, leading to the Authority's communication with SML, demanding a settlement of the outstanding amount. Despite this intervention, SML has yet to address its tax liabilities.

"At the time of our review, we noticed the discrepancy and informed GRA, leading to their subsequent communication with SML, demanding a settlement of the outstanding amount," an excerpt of the report said

The deviation from standard practice occurred between June 1, 2020, and August 31, 2023, a period during which the GRA typically deducts taxes for payments made to SML.

The audit firm noted that it has alerted the GRA to this discrepancy, prompting the Authority to issue a letter to SML demanding payment.

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