By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, Nov. 7, GNA – The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday called on the public to be watchful and patronize only alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and bottled water embossed with the tax stamps of the Authority.
Those who failed to comply do so at their own risk as all bottled water, canned drinks and tobacco products which do not bear tax stamps were either expired or fake and are detrimental to human health.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a tax compliance exercise in the Sunyani Municipality, Mr Shadrach NKansah, Principal Revenue Officer of the GRA also warned manufacturers and distributors to comply with the tax stamp policy or would be prosecuted.
Accompanied by personnel of the Customs Division of the GRA, the exercise, expected to last for one-week, and would take the compliance team to Berekum, Mim, Goaso, Sampa and Dormaa-Ahenkro.
Mr Nkansah said besides its mandate of revenue generation, it was also imperative for the GRA to help ensure that products healthy for human consumption were manufactured and sold to the public.
The GRA tax stamps offer another opportunity to check the contents of bottled water, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and whether they are not fake or expired, he said.
He said the GRA’s tax stamp policy would succeed depending on the active support of the media and appealed to them and particularly electronic ones to provide the required assistance.
Mrs Lydia Asare Anim, a Principal Revenue Officer at the Excise Unit of the GRA, said it is unlawful and a serious offence for manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of the drinks to refuse to emboss tax stamps on their products.
She said very soon the Authority in collaboration with the Police would begin an intensified nationwide enforcement exercise in ware houses, factories, distributing and retailing shops to prosecute offenders.
Tax evasion, she added, remains a serious offence and advised tax payers to honour their obligations to avoid sanctions.
Mr Raymond Baffoe, Assistant Revenue Officer at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Office of the GRA, who led the compliance team, warned that the exercise has come to stay and would be extended to all the districts and municipalities in the region.