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21.05.2016 Business & Finance

Analysts demand strict punishment for tax defaulters

By CitiFMonline
Analysts demand strict punishment for tax defaulters
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A tax analyst with Ernst & Young, Isaac Nketiah Sarpong is advocating sanctions for companies who fail to file their tax returns with the Registrar General's Department.

According to him, the absence of up to date information on tax compliance by large scale businesses also makes it difficult for further studies and analysis.

This he also contends affects government's planning and projections.

Isaac Nketiah Sarpong also believes proffering sanctions on defaulters will serve as a deterrent to companies who failed to comply with their statutory obligations requesting them to file their returns.

He made the comments in an interview with Citi Business News at a breakfast meeting with the Registrar General's Department organized by Ernst & Young,

“The biggest challenge of the Registrar General's Department is the enforcement of the provisions in the Companies Act. As a consultant, I become helpless when somebody flouts the provisions of the act and the regulator is not acting. This is because companies are required by law to file their annual returns every year. But let's ask ourselves how many are filing their returns as these are the returns that provide the information to people like us consultants who may need it for various works which helps us do very good comparative analysis,” Isaac Sarpong observed.

  The filing of annual returns according to the Registrar General's Department, is mandatory as stated in Section 122 (1 & 2) of the Companies Act of 1963, (Act179) which states that, “A Company shall file its Annual Returns eighteen months after Incorporation  and once, at least in every year thereafter.”

Speaking at the same event, the Assistant State Attorney at the Registrar General's Department, Lysbeth Osae indicated of the Department's resolve to enforce the law.

She explained that the department has built its capacity to enforce the laws and regulations in the Companies Act of 1963, (Act179).

“Most Ghanaian companies are known to do things the traditional way as they are mostly interested in registering their companies and filing of their annual returns. This makes enforcing the penalties very difficult but as soon as the re-registration is over in June, the holidays will be over as we have put in place systems to endure that the laws are enforced,” she stressed.

By: Norvan Acquah – Hayford/

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