The Association of Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and LPG Marketing Companies (LPGMCs) have rejected claims that some of their members are indebted to government in terms of taxes to the tune of GH¢25.5billion.
According to the OMCs, the report is not only inaccurate but a dent to the sector’s reputation, since over the years it has collaborated with tax agencies to ensure every member is compliant.
Chief Executive Officer of the OMCs, Kwaku Agyeman-Duah, in an interview with the media said the sector’s modus-operandi does not support an OMC to keep operations ongoing and backdate its taxes. He, therefore, marvels at the possibility of an “uncollected back tax” owed government.
He said the Ghana Audit Service and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have engaged its members with regard to tax reconciliation dating back to 2015 – but both processes are yet to be completed and no member has received documentation from any state body in connection with tax default.
“The purported audit by the Audit Service is incomplete, since the audit is one-sided without appropriate reconciliation of figures with the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and LPG Marketing Companies (LPGMCs). We further believe that this is a deliberate and mischievous attempt to malign and consequently run-down the Petroleum Downstream Industry, with respect to OMCs and LPGMCs,” Mr. Agyeman-Duah said.
He added that the figure being quoted is way above the sector’s current value. “The alleged indebtedness involved is way above the entire revenue generated by the OMCs and LPGMCs in their business life since inception; and for the record, a large number of the OMCs do not owe the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to whom we owe allegiance to make good our tax obligations.
“OMCs and LPGMCs which are indebted to the GRA have either been stopped from lifting petroleum products or have some form of rescheduled payment arrangements with it. The process of reconciliation is in progress, and thus it defies logic why someone would like to take undue credit for a job partially done.
“In our business life, we have never been negligent in the fulfilment of our tax obligations as we seek to be good corporate citizens. We would like to sound a note of caution to all those people or institutions which do not diligently cross-check the facts and ignominiously disregard protocols and procedures to destroy or tarnish the image of OMCs and LPGMCs,” he said.
Mr. Agyeman-Duah also added that members of the association are worried over the seemingly uncoordinated tax reconciliation demands made on them, which are taking a toll on their operations.
“We are being asked to give tax records from 2015 January to August 2020; apart from this, you wake up every morning and there is something coming from tax authorities you don’t even know about: we are in a panic situation.
“We are not running away from tax, and we will never do that – but we want a coordinated approach from the state institution. Today GRA, tomorrow Audit Service and another time NPA, all asking for the same information at different intervals.”