Night Business Operators Warned To Fulfil Tax Obligations

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has warned businesses that operate in the night to honour their tax obligations or risk being closed down.

The warning comes after the authority embarked on a special operation targeted at businesses that operate in the night and had failed to honour their tax obligations.

In line with the exercise, members of the Special Revenue Mobilisation Task Force last Friday night visited Figures Pub and Restaurant, Chez D'afrique, Yenkodi Bar and Restaurant, Kiki Bees Bar and Restaurant and Exhale Lounge located at East Legon in the Greater Accra Region.

At the time of the visit, the various centres were all busy and there was either a live band or sound system playing to the amusement of patrons.

The pubs and restaurants had been under surveillance ahead of the surprise operation and for more than three hours, members of the task force accompanied by police officers held talks with management of the enterprises.

While some of the managers argued with the team, some patrons questioned their presence and that of the media.

Other patrons were not bothered and carried on with whatever they were doing.


The Coordinator of GRA’s Special Revenue Mobilisation Tax Force, Mr Henry Sam, who briefed journalists at the end of the operation, said 22 businesses found to have violated tax laws were penciled for the special operation which was meant to ensure compliance with the country’s tax laws.

He said such businesses were described as ‘shadow economy’ because they operated in a tax hibernation and were potentially major contributors to the tax pool yet they did not pay their taxes.

"It is not possible for staff of the GRA to find these businesses during the working hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. because they operate after working hours and in tax hibernation.

During the day you will not see anyone when you visit their premises,” he said.


At the Figures Pub and Restaurant, Mr Sam said the team found that even though the business had been operating for the past four years it was not captured on the tax radar of the GRA.

"We have collected some documents from them and invited the proprietor to come to our office on Monday, December 16, or risk being closed down," he said.

At Chez D'Afrique, Mr Sam said it was found that the business was registered with the GRA and was issuing VAT invoices "but we are not sure the numbers tally with what we have, so we have asked them to also come to our office."

At the Yenkodi Bar and Restaurant, Kiki Bees Bar and Restaurant and Exhale Lounge, it was discovered that the businesses used their own computers to generate receipts without the approval of the GRA, which was against the law.

Mr Sam said the exercise was aimed at checking for payment of taxes, including VAT, PAYE, income tax, rent tax and so on and it was "not going to be a nine-day wonder.

It will not only be done in Accra but will be extended it to all the other regions.

This is a note of caution to all taxpayers."

He urged businesses that operated at night to voluntarily submit their tax returns and pay their taxes since the GRA did “not take delight in closing down businesses.

We advise them to regularise their tax affairs on their own accord.”