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The largest retailer in the country, Melcom, has stated that it cooperates and complies with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to the fullest extent possible.
Melcom said with the tacit support of the GRA, which virtually held its hands, the retail outlet had implemented the electronic Value Added Tax (e-VAT) across all its outlets across Ghana.
It, however, said during the process of the implementation, there had been some areas of concern which the GRA team had been duly apprised of.
In a petition to the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Melcom explained that it had held a meeting with the GRA team to agree on the way forward with timelines for the solution.
The petition followed a visit by the GRA team to Melcom shops at Kasoa, Achimota and North Industrial Area, where the managers of the shops were picked up for the supposed non-compliance with e-VAT.
The petition, which was copied to the Ministers of Finance, and Trade and Industry, and high-ranking officers of the GRA, stated that there had also been frequent application programming interface and other technical challenges, resulting in the failure to get e-VAT stamps on some of its invoices.
“These failures have been duly and regularly highlighted to both technical and non-technical teams as per the guidelines made available to us by the GRA team for immediate resolution,” Melcom added.
The petition said to ensure full compliance with laws of the land, the invoices were parallel updated into GRA portal, per the advice of the GRA team, once the issue was resolved.
The company expressed surprise that the GRA team accused the managers of the retail outlet and picked them up.
The managers are said to have since been released.
The petition demanded that the GRA “stop the harassment of Melcom staff and inconvenience to our loyal customers”.
It also asked the GRA to instruct the concerned GRA team to look into the concerns raised by Melcom so that the agreed way forward could be achieved at the earliest”.
The retail shop, which markets some of the world’s most reputable brands, also urged the GRA to state the facts to the media so that there would not be further damage to the company’s reputation.
Melcom expressed appreciation to the GRA for supporting the retail shop to implement e-VAT, saying it had been a good learning experience for both teams.
It maintained that Melcom had been used by the GRA to lead the pilot project of implementing e-VAT, whereby all the learnings taken by the GRA team had been rolled out to others in the industry.
The petition said while it appreciated the actions to plug the leakages by putting compliance as the first and foremost objective, it was important that the GRA addressed the concern areas with urgency.
“These unaddressed points cause a major challenge for the teams to work on data reconciliation between Melcom’s server and GRA’s server, and further troubleshoot the technical hitches, where need be,” the petition stated.
It said for a number of times it had drawn the attention of the authority to the challenges, stressing that “branch downtime reported to GRA for the months of December 2022 and January 2023 have been attached for your ready reference”.