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14.09.2005 Business & Finance

Hoteliers want compensation for collecting VAT

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Techiman (B/A), Sept. 14, GNA - Members of Hoteliers Association of Ghana in the Brong-Ahafo Region, have appealed for a reduction in the cost of Valued Added Tax receipt books to minimize cost in hotel operations.

They made the appeal at the general meeting of Techiman Zonal branch of the Association on Wednesday.

The meeting, attended by 18 members from Techiman, Nkoranza, Wenchi, Kintampo, Atebubu, Kwame Danso and Pru districts, was aimed at re-activating the branch, which had become dormant in recent times. The hoteliers noted that they were not being paid any commission for revenue collected on behalf of VAT Secretariat, as services rendered even after they had travelled from various districts to VAT offices in the regions to make payment at their own risk.

Mr Samuel Q. Sackey, an official of the Sunyani VAT office, commended the hoteliers for their immense contributions, as agents in the collection of VAT to which they contribute about 45 per cent of the total revenue accruing to VAT.

He expressed regret about the way some members, companies and big organizations had failed to keep records of events and also in terms of keeping different accounts, as well as refusing to account for VAT. The official warned those, who had been indulging in such practice to put a stop to it, adding that, VAT would not deal leniently with defaulters, when caught.

Mr Sackey said plans were far advanced to open VAT offices at most of their catchment areas in the country, saying, officers would be detailed to Berekum, Techiman and Kintampo to help curb the difficulties the hoteliers encountered in their attempt to pay VAT in Sunyani. The Brong-Ahafo Regional Chairman of the Hoteliers Association, Heifer International-Ghana, an NGO, which operates in the country and focuses on livestock and bee-keeping production, as part of its strategy for poverty reduction in deprived communities, called on the government to reciprocate the gesture of the revenue being collected by hoteliers by assisting them in acquiring inputs such as building materials and granting of loans to expand their hotel industries.

Mr Philip Kofi Ntiamoah, Techiman Municipal Zonal Chairman of the Association, underscored the need for all managers of hotels in the country to help keep their surroundings tidy to attract visitors. Mr Ntiamoah, who is Manager of Tano Lodge Hotel in Techiman, stressed the need for the government to impose high penalties on those, who embezzle public funds.

He advised members to employ personnel with high academic standards and urged employees in hotels to expose any negative trend in the hotels to the appropriate authorities.

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