Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, the Commissioner-General of GRA, who announced this, said after an appreciable public education effort to raise the awareness of the public on the excise tax, the time had come to enforce the policy to the letter.
The Excise Tax Stamp Act requires Tax Stamp to be affixed on specified excisable goods manufactured in the country, imported into the country and other goods prescribed by the Minister of Finance.
Specifically, the Act stipulates that the Excise Tax Stamp be affixed on excisable goods such as cigarettes and other tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic carbonated beverages, bottled water and any other excisable product prescribed by the Minister.
Mr Nti said while in the past the GRA had removed specified goods that did not bear the stamp from the shelves and advised manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers to adhere to the law, this time round the enforcement would involve the complete detention, seizure and imposition of the required 300 per cent penalty of the duties and taxes involved on culprits.
“I wish to reiterate that the days of impunity about non-compliance with the tax laws are completely over. We wish to convey to the public that they cannot choose and select which of the tax laws they want to obey,” Mr Nti said.
“All the sanctions enshrined in the law on failure to comply with the affixing of the excise tax stamp will be applied to the letter,” he added.
Mr Nti said the exercise was not meant to embarrass and harass anybody but to ensure that there was total compliance with the law.
He said the excise tax stamp policy was being implemented to control the importation and local production of excisable goods for revenue, check the illicit trading, smuggling and counterfeiting of excisable products, check under-declaration of goods, protect and increase tax revenue and ensure the good health of Ghanaians.
He urged the public to desist from buying products that did not bear the tax stamp.