There was drama at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi when the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) embarked a distress action on tax defaulting businesses.
Owner of Doreenas Enterprise, a spare parts dealer, engaged in a verbal confrontation with the revenue mobilization taskforce over her tax obligation.
Afia Abrafi is reported to have forcibly opened her shop when the taskforce locked it in an earlier operation a month ago.
According to GRA officials, she owes about 168,500 Ghana Cedis in taxes between 2008 and 2013.
“Go for Woyome’s money first before you come asking me to pay any tax,” she told the taskforce officials.
Since the beginning of the GRA’s operations in August, the taskforce will close down defaulting business then re-open when necessary payment is made.
For Abrafi, she needed a court order before she will allow this to happen. “I need a court order before I allow you to close my shop,” she declared, claiming she doesn’t owe. “I don’t owe you, what did I buy from you that I owe?”, she asked rhetorically.
The plump-size woman lay flat in her shop making it difficult for the taskforce to move her.
“You can’t take me away; I am not going anywhere, unless you kill me’’, she dared the taskforce. “If I owe you, take me to court, and I will bring my lawyers to defend me if you go to court.”
The commotion drew many people to the scene but that wouldn’t stop the taskforce from doing its work.
At a point, Auntie Afia, as she is affectionately called, said to one of the taskforce officials, “I have seen your rank and name; I will serve all of you letters for embarrassing me like this”.
This continued for about twenty minutes before the taskforce could manage to whisk her away in a vehicle to the Central Police Station.
Coordinator of the Taskforce, Henry Sam, says the woman will be charged for impeding the tax administration.
“We intend to put her before court and charge her for impeding administration in accordance with to the Internal Revenue Act,” he emphasized. “Without recourse to the tax office, she forcibly opened the place and resumed normal business without satisfying the tax debt.”
Wednesday’s exercise was aimed at recovering over 131, 000 Ghana Cedis from recalcitrant tax defaulters.
The action is part of a revenue mobilization drive to retrieve a target of 120 million Ghana Cedis from across the country.
Credit: Prince Appiah, Luv News