The Rlg Ltd, a general ICT company, has denied receiving fraudulent tax relief from the government.
Reacting to a statement issued by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Obuasi West, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, and published in the Daily Graphic of yesterday , the Legal and & Corporate Affairs Department of the company explained that on March 5, 2013, it made changes to its business registration documents at the Registrar-General’s Department.
This was, especially in relation to its nature of business, to include manufacturing of phones, computers and their accessories.
According to the company, it informed the Ministry of Finance on October 9, 2013, of its desire to obtain exemption from import duties on spare parts used in assembling mobile phone devices locally.
The ministry, according to the company, responded on November 29, 2013, saying “the company does not qualify for exemption under Customs and Excise and Other Taxes Act, 2013, Act 863.
However, the company said it was advised to take advantage of chapter 98 of the customs harmonised code that granted exemptions and concessions to manufacturers who were registered with the Commissioner of Customs and the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre (GIPC).
The company, therefore, said on February 20, 2014, it informed the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre of the amendments to the company’s business activity.
According to the Rlg, the GIPC responded on February 25, saying, “we also wish to inform you that the centre has no objection to the inclusion of the following in your company’s objects; manufacturing of phones, computers and their accessories”.
The company said it returned to the Ghana Customs and Excise to continue the process, which included a thorough physical inspection of the company’s production processes at its plant.
According to the company, the Ghana Customs and Excise on March 18, 2014 granted Rlg the licence to manufacture excisable goods under section 221 (1) of the C. & E.D 1972 (NRCD. 114).
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) however, on March 31, 2014 wrote to Rlg to withdraw the manufacturer’s licence because “a study of the survey report clearly indicates that your company is engaged in the assembly of laptop computers and mobile phones, and that documents submitted state the nature of your business registered by the Registrar-General’s Department does not include manufacturing.’’
The letter went on to say that “however, the authority to approve registration of any company involved in purely assembly production process as a manufacturer, lies solely at the highest policy making level and not with any officer at the collection level. You are hereby, respectively, requested to immediately return the original licence to the undersigned while we take steps to continue processing your application to the commissioner of customs division who will escalate it further for eventual policy decision and directive”.
The statement said Rlg wrote back to GRA drawing its attention to the effect that the amendments to nature of business had long been done at both the Registrar-General’s Department & the GIPC.
According to Rlg on May 23, 2014, the GRA issued a memo that “a four-man committee has been set up to resolve issues relating to the operational definition of manufacturing, and until its work is done, all registered manufacturers should continue to receive benefits under the manufacturers’ license”.
The company explained that on June 5, 2014, the team from Customs toured the installations of Rlg on an assessment mission, submitted reports to the GRA and ‘’we are yet to be informed about the outcome’’ it stressed.
By the above narration, the Rlg company said it was clear that Rlg dutifully, painfully and duly followed the laid-down procedures in its bid to gain import tax exemption as a responsible corporate entity.
The company said it took serious exception to the allegation by the MP that “In 2014 alone, government, according to the supplementary budget, granted a total of GH˘792 million tax concessions to various organisations and businesses.
Source: Daily Graphic
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