The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has given Akosombo Textiles Limited the green light to resume it operations, days after the company was closed down for failing to meet its tax obligations.
The decision to allow the company to resume production followed a substantial payment of it tax indebtedness to the GRA and a commitment to spread the remaining amount for not more than six months.
The GRA had closed down ATL and its sister company, Akotex Synthetics Limited (ASL)– for failing to live up to their tax obligations for the past four years.
The two companies, which are under the same management owed the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax close to GH¢9 million in taxes, penalties and interest since 2009.
While ATL’s indebtedness was GH¢5,714,560.65, ASL owed GH¢3,187,718.24.
Even though he declined to give the exact amount paid by the company, a Principal Revenue Collector of the GRA, Mr Wisdom K. Xetor said the terms agreed between the two parties would ensure that the company did not renege on its obligations to the state.
He said while the reasons for the failure of the company to pay its taxes did not feature prominently in discussions before the agreement, the company acknowledge that if it had responded to the several invitations when it filed it returns, events leading to the closure of the company could have been avoided.
He cautioned companies that were in similar positions to take immediate steps to ensure that the GRA disciplinary rod did not fall on them.
He, however, observed that ever since the exercise was carried out several companies had seen the repercussions and were rushing to pay their taxes.
Mr Xetor said in spite of that a number of others who remained adamant would be made to face the law saying “we are building a dossier on the others and will come out at the appropriate time to take the appropriate action against them.”
But speaking to graphic.com.gh, Mr Samuel Hemans-Arday, the ATL Deputy Manager in charge of Advertising and Promotions, said the company had been paying its taxes but not up to the expected quantum.
“It is not that we have not been paying. The problem had been that we have not been able to pay the full amount…,” he said.
He attributed the difficulties in the company meeting its tax obligations to the GRA to the challenges confronting the textile industry in Ghana, which he said was struggling to cope with cheap and ATL-pirated designs from Asia.
He, however, said the company had worked out measures to meet its tax liabilities and ultimately prevent the recurrence of the present situation.
“We have put in place measures to meet the payment schedules agreed with the GRA,” he added.
He said the closure of the company affected the delivery of orders for some of its clients but maintained that the company was back on its fit to meet the demands of consumers as the yuletide approaches.
Mr Hemans-Arday said the company had registered its designs and brands in order to protect them but was of the view that that could only happen with strict measures that prevented smuggled prints from entering Ghana.
According to him, in instances that pirated wax prints entered the country through legitimate means, the Ghana Standards Authority had been able to track the pirated ones.
Source: Daily Graphic