Business

GRA chases OMCs for unpaid petroleum taxes running into millions

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has resumed its debt distress action to recoup accumulated petroleum taxes from some Oil Marketing Companies (OMC).

As part of the exercise, the GRA on Thursday morning, [May 20, 2021] locked up two oil marketing companies.

They are Grid Petroleum Ghana Limited and Sonnidom Petroleum.

According to the GRA, the two OMCs have defaulted in tax payment of more than GH¢1.2million and GH¢862,000 respectively over a period of two years.

The team locked up the premises of the companies after several attempts for them to honour part payments was not successful.

Other companies the tax force chased were Santol Limited for owing GH¢57.39 million in taxes; Life Petroleum, GH¢1.14 million; Sawiz Petroleum, GH¢5.12 million; Delian and Co Limited, Ghc11.63 million and Petra Energy, Ghc20.73 million.

The debt was accrued as a result of failure to pay petroleum taxes and levies to the state.

Apart from the two companies that were locked up, the others after hours of deliberating with a team from the Debt Management Compliance and Enforcement Unit of the GRA separately reached a payment agreement.

In line with a court warrant obtained by the Commissioner General of the GRA to effect the exercise, the team locked up a fuel service station, offices and supermarket belonging to the Grid Petroleum Ghana Limited at Dome.

The management of the Grid Company engaged members of the special task force in a lengthy discussion which hit a deadlock.

Before locking the company fuel attendants who were busy serving customers were stopped and the pumps turned off after which the team used padlocks and chains to lock up the company’s assets.

Assets seized 

“Now these assets partly belong to the Ghana Revenue Authority,” said the leader of the team, Chief Revenue Officer, Nathaniel Nii Okai Tettey.

He said Grid had defaulted taxes to the tune of GH¢1, 253,169,51 while the authority had made numerous attempts to get the management to pay the tax debt including putting in place arrangements to get them to pay in instalments.

The scenario was similar at Sonnidom Petroleum.

Later when the team went to another fuel service station known as SAWIZ Petroleum Limited where it projected to collect a tax debt of more than GH¢5 million it was discovered that a new company had taken over hence the inability of the GRA team to carry out its mandate.

Mr Tettey explained that the team would track the company and recover the debt.

He said oil marketing companies after lifting oil were to pay the petroleum taxes and levies within 21 days and a grace period of four days after taking their profit margins.

“Unfortunately some of them decide to add the government taxes to their profit margins and deny the state of the needed revenue,” he said.

The task force also went to the offices of the other service stations where the management agreed to clear the debt based on a payment plan.

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