The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has served a notice to the public that effective April this year it would prosecute businesses that fail to comply with the implementation of the excise tax stamp policy.
This is even as it also warned that defaulters would risk seizure of their goods for non-compliance.
One of the fiscal measures introduced this fiscal year by the government is that all manufacturers and importers of excisable products are expected to fix hologram stamps on their products before they could sell to consumers.
Confirming the plan to sanction defaulting entities during an interaction with Citi Business News,
the Technical Advisor to the Commissioner at the GRA, Sam Akwesi Nyankyera, hinted that the authority was committed to bring culprits to book.
“We may first detain the goods and then the manufacturer or importer will have to explain to the satisfaction of the Commissioner General, why they do not have the tax stamp on their products which I presume may not be satisfactory, then the detention may be converted to seizure,” Nyankyera said.
It would be recalled that the introduction of the excise tax stamp had generated stiff opposition from the businesses expected to abide by the policy.
Government has, however, promised to address such concerns with the rolling out of a subsidized system where it assumes the full cost of the stamps for the first six months of this year.
At the expiration of the deadline in June, the government will reduce its subsidy to 50 percent and subsequently wean itself off the cost of fixing the stamps.
Despite the outcry of business owners against the fiscal measure, the Technical Advisor to the GRA Commissioner has, however, expressed optimism that the enforcement of the sanction should reduce resistance to the tax policy.
He clarified: “We will have officers and we are planning to also involve compliant officers and other agencies to help in the enforcement. So those goods on which the taxes have not been fixed, they may be liable to seizure. For the person involved, if he or she conducted himself in such a way as to how it infringes on any aspect of our law, then the person may also face sanctions depending on the provisions of the law.”
The introduction of the excise tax stamp by the government this year is one of the fiscal option being explored to boost tax revenue in the country.