Enforcement Officers of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) have closed four branches of the China Mall shopping centers in Accra.
Similar action was taken against some branches of the Palace Mall in Accra.
The shopping centers are said to have failed to comply with the e-invoicing system for Value Added Tax (VAT) introduced by the GRA.
The GRA rolled out the e-invoicing system for VAT collectors from October 1, 2022, for 600 large taxpayers that generate more than 90 percent of VAT revenue.
Unlike the manual system, the e-invoicing system allows the GRA to monitor live transactions in companies where it has been deployed, thereby making it impossible for taxpayers to either under-invoice or avoid the payment of VAT.
When the Officials first visited the Spintex Road Branch of the facility, the Shopping Centre, was not in operation, but GRA said they suspected Management had information about the action.
Joseph Annan, Area Enforcement Manager of GRA in charge of Accra Central explained that the Authority had been engaging management of some selected businesses on how to commence the system but most of them had failed to comply.
According to him, GRA decided to lock up the facilities with the Commissioner General seals because some of the premises of shops were not in operation.
He warned that it is only Seal, any attempt to take it off is an offense against the law and until the right things were done on their part, the place would remain closed.
But when the team got to the other shop also along Spintex Road and the facility’s warehouse, workers were working but had to be stopped for the enforcement exercise for the shop to be sealed off.
He said the Authority had selected some businesses to commence the pilot of the e-invoice system and this time they would enforce the law to the fullest and all the branches of these businesses would be closed until their various management fix the system.
“We will continue to pursue all who have failed to fix the system until they comply,” he added.
He said a similar exercise would be held in Kumasi at China Mall Shops and other selected businesses.
All the warehouses were closed with the Commissioner-General’s Seal.
The workers, who did not understand why the places were being locked, expressed displeasure with the exercise, while some spoke angrily to the officers.