The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says its nationwide debt collection and enforcement exercise that commenced this week is aimed at ensuring compliance with all tax obligations.

The exercise is in partnership with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and has approval from the highest level of government, aimed at enabling the GRA to attain its goal of generating enough revenue for the state and also find ways of dealing with debtors that have long been on the Authority’s books.

GRA management and EOCO’s top management at the beginning of the year came together and decided to clear the backlog or outstanding debt, especially with recalcitrant debtors.

B&FT has gathered that at least 80 percent of its debt is in the hands of Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs), and these have been on the books of GRA for quite some time; they are very aged.

In a letter signed by the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr. George Blankson warned all taxpayers including companies, sole proprietors, professionals, and property owners who have not registered with the Authority or who have defaulted in the filing and payment of both direct (Income tax) and indirect (Value Added Tax) are requested to immediately take steps to register their businesses and to settle all outstanding liabilities.

“Taxpayers are kindly requested to leave documents showing proof of payment at their business premises and on their property in the case of rent tax for inspection by the taskforce. Failure to show proof of payment will lead to enforcement action,” he stated.

Mr. Blankson added:“I assure taxpayers that this exercise is not aimed at inflicting any pain on any taxpayer, we are only to ensure that there is compliance with the tax laws of the country, and that taxpayers pay what is expected of them and follow due processes and procedures in carrying out the task of tax compliance — which is an obligation imposed by the constitution and is found in every jurisdiction.

“The GRA wishes to assure all taxpayers of the Authority’s continuous support for all businesses, especially those that are tax-compliant,” he said.