Seventeen Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) did not pay duties and taxes totalling GH¢249,800,802.28 on 219,995,530 litres of fuel products lifted for the period January 2020 to December 2021.
The Auditor General’s report on the audit of ministries, departments and agencies noted the discrepancy from the Integrated Customs Management System (ICUMS).
Twenty-eight Oil OMCs failed to settle their rescheduled debts of GH¢402,049,571.70.
This is contrary to Section 47 of the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915).
The law provides that a taxpayer may apply in writing to the Commissioner-General for an extension of time to pay tax under the tax law.
“A taxpayer may re-apply to the Commissioner–General before the end of the extension period but an extension of time to pay tax shall not exceed 12 months in aggregate. Where an extension is granted, and the taxpayer is permitted to pay by instalments and the taxpayer defaults in paying any of the instalments, the whole balance of the tax outstanding becomes payable immediately.”
The Auditor General in its report recommended that the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority should use legal means to recover the outstanding amount of GH¢402,049,571.70 from the OMCs involved.
It also directed the Commissioner, GRA Customs Division, to fully recover the amount of GH¢249,800,802.28 from the 17 OMCs without further delay.
On domestic tax revenue, the report revealed that 6,856 companies, business entities and individuals owed GH¢111,652,263.00 in corporate and individual income taxes from 2019 to 2021.
Also, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) totalling GH¢32,071,516.00, deducted on behalf of 3,121 employees, including 346 directors was not remitted to the Commissioner General for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 years of assessment, the report said.
“Our audit showed that 811 companies who filed their tax returns for 2019, 2020 and 2021 years of assessment failed to withhold taxes on goods and services procured amounting to GH¢43,471,511.50,” it added.
Retrieval of monies
Media reports, however, indicate that the Revenue Assurance, Compliance and Enforcement (RACE) of the Ministry of Finance has retrieved GH¢24.2 million as tax under recovery from some OMCs and a commercial bank.
This follows validation of tax payments for the lifting of refined petroleum products.
According to the Ministry, the RACE team concluded the first phase of engagements with 99 out of 117 OMCs to validate tax payments for the lifting of refined petroleum products.
The engagements involved GRA, the National Petroleum Authority, the Association of Oil Marketing Companies and some commercial banks.
Under the RACE initiative, the government has established a tax liability of GH¢62 million against a commercial bank out of which ¢14.3 million has been recovered. Furthermore, about ¢9.9 million has been recovered from some OMCs.