Telcos to pay additional tax after alleged underdeclaration, says GRA boss

Some telecommunications firms in Ghana will soon be served demands for additional revenue for underdeclaring taxes due the government

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced it will soon serve certain telecommunications firms in the country with additional revenue demands, following revelations that they underdeclared taxes due the government.

“We have done a lot of work on the telcos based on the work done by Kelni GVG and our own internal work, based on [Kelni GVG’s], and I want to assure you that at the right time we will be able to serve the various telcos the additional revenue that we expect from them,” said the commissioner general of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah.

“Because we are still dealing with them, I do not want to make it public at this moment, but I can confirm that we will definitely be serving them with additional tax that is required.”

Owusu-Amoah made this revelation at an engagement with journalists over the weekend in Ghana’s capital, Accra.

Underdeclared savings

Last month, the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, told Parliament the government saved GHC1.5 billion in underdeclared taxes since implementation of the common platform in the telecommunications sector from 2017.

She said an estimated GHC300 million in taxes has also been saved between the first quarter of 2017 to date.

However, members of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications have refuted the government’s claim that the telcos underdeclared their taxes.

The chief executive officer of the Chamber, Ken Ashigbey, said the telcos operating in Ghana, “namely AirtelTigo, MTN and Vodafone, are good corporate citizens that have demonstrated an exemplary record of tax compliance as well as delivering on all their tax obligations”.

However, it seems the recent comment by the GRA commissioner general confirms the minister’s speculation that some of the telcos underdeclared the taxes they owe the government.

Fred Dzakpata

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