Tax stamp compliance will address under-declaration of goods – GRA

Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Commissioner General, GRA

The Ghana Revenue Authority has maintained that implantation of the excise tax stamp policy is to ensure that the health status of citizens are protected at all times.The authority said other reasons for which the policy is being aggressively executed  is to check the illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of excisable products, ensure the good health of Ghanaians and to protect and increase tax revenue.

Instructively, the GRA, from next week, will begin the second phase of a special enforcement and compliance exercise to bring non-complying companies to book.

“It is important to remind the public that the Excise Tax Stamp Act, 2013 (Act 873) requires Excise Tax Stamp to be affixed on specified excisable goods, manufactured in Ghana, imported or other goods prescribed by the Finance Minister,” Commissioner General of the GRA, Mr. Kofi Nti said at a press briefing on the upcoming enforcement exercise.

Products affected

The policy is expected to affect items such as cigarettes and tobacco products, alcoholic beverages whether bottled, canned, contained in kegs for sale or packaged in other forms; non-alcoholic carbonated beverages whether bottled, canned or packaged in any other form and bottled water.

“The enforcement compliance exercise will involve the complete detention, seizure and imposition of the required 300 percent penalty of the duties and taxes involved on culprits,” Mr. Nti noted.

Consultations/public education

Having dealt with a number of challenges raised by key stakeholders arising from numerous consultations over a four-year period on implementation, enforcement started at the ports on January 1, 2018, while that at the point of sales started on March 1, 2018.

The authority has, since then carried an appreciable public education effort to raise public awareness on the policy.

The GRA, at a point in time, as part of ensuring compliance, removed specified goods which did not bear the stamp from shelves and advised manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to strictly adhere to the law.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe