GRA to sell off Vodafone assets over tax default

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has served notice that it will be compelled to sell off the assets of National Communications Backbone Company (NCBC) within the next fourteen days should the company fail to provide proof to benefit from capital gains tax reliefs.

The NCBC, which is a subsidiary of Vodafone Ghana is reported to have defaulted in capital gains tax amounting to GH¢9,018,000.

The caution also follows a distress order issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.

According to the Head of Special Revenue Mobilisation task force at the GRA, Henry Sam, the outfit was compelled to carry out the exercise due to the failure by the company to comply with its capital gains tax obligations from September 2016 till date.

“There have been series of engagements with the NCBC which is a subsidiary of Vodafone…in their financial statements; they have taken away the capital gains tax.

But in doing so, there are certain conditions that have to be met; the company must provide proof of ownership to those depreciable assets and that has been a bone of contention between Vodafone and NCBC,” “

They have not been able to provide evidence of the acquisition of the equipment that entitles them to claim capital allowance in their financial statement,” he stated.

Meanwhile in a meeting between the GRA and Vodafone on Tuesday, Vodafone indicated it has engaged its tax consultants, KPMG, for the submission of the appropriate documents to back their claims.

But Mr. Sam tells Citi Business News although a meeting has been scheduled with KPMG today (Wednesday) to submit the available evidence, his outfit will only open up for an assessment when thirty percent of the total payment due has been satisfied as per the law.

“According to them, they have been able to liaise with their tax consultants, KPMG and we are meeting them today for them to avail those records for us to review the assessment,” “But the law also requires that before we open that window of opportunity to review an assessment,  a thirty percent down payment has to be made pending the determination of the objection; so we have to get that and in addition we will review the assessment based on the document that they submit,” he asserted.

The NCBC is responsible for the sale of fibre to telecom companies. Vodafone response In a statement however, Vodafone says it is in discussion with the GRA on the matter.

Vodafone said, “The NCBC (which sells fibre to telecoms companies) is undertaking a reconciliation of GRA’s computation its taxes”.

The statement which is signed by the Director of External Affairs and Legal, Gayheart Mensah added, “Vodafone is a tax compliant company and currently pays indirect taxes of around GHS25m on a monthly basis to the GRA.

We are a law abiding and responsible corporate organization and are engaging with the GRA to reconcile the figures. 

To facilitate the process, the NCBC has contracted KPMG to assist.

We are persuaded that this will be closed by the end of the week.” “The NCBC acknowledges the mandate of the GRA to assess and collect taxes due government from business organizations.

Consequently, the GRA’s demand of NCBC is within its legitimate line of duty, which the NCBC remains supportive of”. – 

Source: citie business