GRA initiates Excise Tax Stamp public sensitization 

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), on Friday day embarked on a sensitization exercise for retailers who import and sell tobacco products to check their compliance level.    

The exercise was to as part of measures to access the compliance level and to educate them on the need to use the Excuse Tax Stamps on all their products.

Tax stamps are small stickers with security features, supplied by government to some manufacturers and importers to affix to their products before they are release onto the market.

The stamps once fixed on a product provides significant guarantee that the products are authentic.

 Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, GRA Commissioner General, said in 2013 the Excise Tax Stamp Act 873 was passed, and lots of discussions have been done with major stakeholders to ensure its effective implementation.

He said one of the weaknesses of the State is that, while it wants to rake more revenue to pursue its agenda, some stakeholders have been faulting it and have been under reporting their level of sales.

 He said with the increase in smuggled goods, illicit products and counterfeit product into the market, the GRA is embarking on the exercise to ensure the good of the people, and for the authority to raise the revenue for government to pursue its agenda. 

Mr Nti said the programme was re-launched in August 31, 2017, as part of government’s effort to address the counterfeiting of products on the markets and to improve revenue generation.

“This exercise we are embarking on today is in two folds, first to raise additional revenue for the State and to also curve the infiltration of illicit and counterfeit products dominating the market now,” he said.

He said the process has not been deferred saying GRA want to build the country into a better place where there is greater accountability, and goods on the market are properly accounted for and of high quality.

He said the implementation of the tax stamps policy was not an imposition of additional tax by government but a measure to protect genuine businesses from counterfeiters and also to ensure that more people and businesses pay their due taxes.

“We want to ensure that goods that people consume are of good nature, because it is quite disheartening to hear of the increase of various diseases which have become paramount in the country in recent times, all because of the consumption of illicit products people are selling without paying tax,” he said.

He reiterated that, government through the Ministry of Finance and GRA have resolved that excise tax should contribute its fair share of the State’s revenue. 

Mr Kwaneba Apau Anto, Chief Revenue Officer, GRA said the focus for today’s exercise was basically on tobacco products after which Alcoholic and non-Alcoholic drinks, bottled water and textiles would follow.

He noted that currently the government would bear the entire cost of the stamps supplied to businesses, and as such stickers are given for free at the GRA office and retailers are expected to go for it, adding that after the six months the tax stamps would be sold to retailers.

He urged retailers to make good use of the opportunity and visit the GRA office for the stamps to avoid their good being seized or removed from the market and the appropriate sanctions imposed after the six months. 

Some of the shops visited included, The Oxford Street Mall, Koala, Airport Shell mall, and the Accra mall.

Source: GNA

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