The Taxation Business Breakfast was a small conference held at the Marriott Hotel, Accra on Wednesday the 19th of June 2019 at 8am.The Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting was organized to educate business owners and organizations on the powers and limit of the Ghana Revenue Authority.
The speakers at the event were Robert Smith & Adelaide Law, a company which is a very active member of the Chamber. The main speaker Mr. Bobby Banson, is a fellow of the prestigious Chartered Institute of Arbitrators which is based in the United Kingdom. He graduated as the Best Student in the Law of Taxation and currently teaches at the Ghana School of Law.
Touching on the theme, “The power and limits of the GRA; How to mount a legal challenge to an action by the GRA” at the Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting, Mr. Banson noted how some personnel of the Ghana Revenue Authority sometimes overstep their bounds while meting out their duties; posing as collaborators but merely knowing what they stand to gain.
He explained that these persons only act as wanting to help because of their knowledge of a ‘whistle blower policy’ under the GRA where they are given some extra monies (20%) of monies charged businesses when they bring ‘intel’ from those companies to them (GRA).
He noted that though government has the right to collect and assess tax, the Ghana Revenue Authority’s power is limited. “Government has the right to collect tax and assess tax. If they assess you and you don’t pay, they have the right to enforce their assessments. That will be to freeze your bank account, to seize your assets and have them sold in satisfaction of your debt. But these powers are limited because there are laws that work in the country.”
General Secretary of Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce Ingrid Asensio Ramos spoke to www.ghanaweb.com on some challenges facing the foreign businesses in Ghana. She hinted that the Spain-Ghana Chamber of Commerce interactions with government have been ongoing to reach a consensus on how to resolve this challenges.“Taxation is a hot topic for business companies here in Ghana…there are lots of challenges for them as they do not understand the country…that is why this event is been organized to help them through this challenges.”
A section of stakeholders shared the challenges they face in the hands of the GRA agents. They are however calling on government to limit the aggression of the GRA staff.