The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has dismissed allegations of harassment and extortion leveled against its officials by some members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Traders Advocacy Group Ghana (TAGG).
Members of GUTA in the Ashanti region threatened to stage a massive demonstration over what they described as ongoing discrimination and intimidation by officials of the Customs Division of GRA.
The aggrieved members said they are compelled to pay additional charges at various checkpoints while transporting their goods to the Ashanti region after clearing them from the port.
GRA in a statement clarified that the careful inspections of goods for which GUTA is complaining is “to curtail smuggling, under declaration, misdescription and concealment of goods thereby ensuring that the right amount of duties and taxes are paid by importers.”
The statement enumerated instances where such meticulous inspections have led to the discovery of attempted smuggling.
GRA urged members of GUTA and TAGG to comply with the tax regulations enacted to enhance revenue collection and report non-compliant members to the relevant authorities for onward action.
“Management of the GRA therefore wishes to appeal to the leadership of GUTA and TAGG to cooperate with the various Taskforces across the country and encourage their members to comply with the Tax laws. We will continue to engage the members of Trade Associations, including GUTA and TAGG, to address their issues as we strive to achieve our common goal of revenue mobilization.
“We also encourage the general public to report any misconduct on the part of GRA officers during these exercises and in their normal course of work on 0800-900-110. Additionally, the names of companies, importers, and Clearing agents who have been found to be involved in these malpractices and the resultant short collection will be published as the laws prescribe.”