The Technical sub-committee on the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade has found many foreign-owned shops evading taxes in Koforidua.

The shops have either misrepresented their documents to reduce their tax liability or operating without paying tax.

These were observed after the Committee visited Koforidua the Eastern Regional Capital to assess compliance of 66 shops owned by foreigners.

“Some have not registered their businesses at all and once you have not registered you have no TIN and the implication is also that they don’t pay taxes, there are some also who have not registered but using documentation of other people. And then there are some also who are not paying the right taxes. If you are a foreign shop you are not supposed to register as a sole proprietorship. Foreigners are barred from registering for sole proprietorship shop. You have to register as Limited by Share and it has implication also on tax so foreigners are barred from paying Tax Stamp they have to pay Corporate Taxes so once the needful hadn’t been done it also means that they are not paying the right taxes” Maxwell Apenkro, a Member of the Technical Sub Committee on Foreign Retail Trade told Kasapa News.

He added, “In few cases, many of the foreigners are operating without Immigration documents-no resident permit some also it is a Ghanaian shop but the workers are foreigners”.

The Committee made up of personnel from Immigration, Ghana Revenue Authority, Standard Authority, Police, Customs, National Security, GIPC, and Members of Ghana Union of Traders Association completed the exercise on Wednesday.

The exercise was initially scheduled to take place for three days but the committee managed to complete the assessment process of all the shops by close of the second day.

Many of the shops assessed were Mobile Phones and Accessories shops owned by Nigerians as well as Rice shops owned by Indians and Lebanese.

Owners of the shops assessed have been given 14 days grace period others three days to regularize their documents.

“In all, we have assessed 66 shops, we have given them appropriate notices. There are some we have given 14 days to comply because when we assessed them we realized their documents are not up to so we have given them 14 days to regularize after which the next step will be taken. There are some also that we have given three days for them to appear at our Offices. So that the needful will be done ” Maxwell Apenkro stated.

Leader of the Technical sub-committee on the Committee on Foreign Retail Trade, Edward Adjenim Boateng told Kasapa News on the first day that, the exercise in Eastern Region is a quite different from other regions visited because it was the first time such exercise was being conducted in the region hence given the culprit foreigners in retail business 14 days grace period to secure all the needed documentation.

He said the Presidential Taskforce will subsequently be deployed to clamp down on those who fail to comply by closing their shops.

Meanwhile, President of the All Nigerian Community in Eastern Region Rev. Paul Olabisi told Kasapa News the exercise has been satisfactory adding that leadership of the Nigerian community will ensure registered members secure all the needed documents within the stipulated days.

Ghana is enforcing the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) Law which barred foreigners from operating within certain quarters of the retail space, a law which has over the years been breached with impunity by foreigners sparking agitation by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

Source: Ansah