REACTION TO ISSUES RAISED IN THE 2021 AUDITOR-GENERALS’ REPORT
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has closely monitored media discussions and social media posts on the issues raised in the 2021 Auditor-General’s report with regard to tax debts of Oil Marketing Companies, and the issue of the GH₵3.26 billion tax revenue ‘not accounted for’ after a joint audit and reconciliation of books of the
Ministry of Finance, GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and reacts as follows:
Due to the fact that levies imposed on Fuel are consumption levies, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are allowed to lift fuel and account for levies after they have sold the fuel to customers and the levies have been collected. This must be done within 21 days of lifting oil. To ensure that OMCs pay the levies within the stipulated time, they are required to obtain a guaranteed bond from Insurance companies or other Financial institutions equivalent to the amount of oil to be lifted.
As at 2021, a number of OMCs and other businesses had defaulted on the payment of their tax debts and some had made arrangements with GRA to have those debts rescheduled for instalment payments. For those companies that failed to make satisfactory arrangements to pay, GRA initiated enforcement actions such as:
When all these measures fail to yield the desired results, directors of businesses are prosecuted at the Tax Court for non-payment of tax debts. Risk profiling of OMCs and Insurance Companies that guarantee the bonds has also been carried out to streamline processes and ensure that only businesses in good standing lift oil.
Below is a list of OMCs and companies currently facing criminal prosecution at the Tax Court on charges of Failure to pay Tax:
The 2021 Auditor-General’s report also touches on GH₵3.26 billion tax revenue “not accounted for” after a joint audit and reconciliation of books of the Ministry of Finance, GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD).
As has been stated by the Hon. Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon John Kumah, differences in data generated by different agencies do not necessarily indicate loss of revenue to government. As required, GRA furnished the CAGD with provisional revenue figures for 2021 (GH₵60.69 billion) in March 2022. Included in this amount were Energy Sector Levies totaling GH₵3.2 billion.
In May 2022, the Audit Service conducted an audit of revenue collected by GRA in 2021 and arrived at a figure of (GH₵57.43 billion). This figure failed to take into consideration the Energy Sector Levies that GRA reports on such as Energy Debt Service, Energy Debt Recovery, Power Generation and Sanitation & Pollution levy.
These levies totaling (GH₵3.2 billion) were omitted from the Audit report even though the figures were provided.
GRA therefore reiterates that no revenue is missing.