Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Officials of Value Added Tax (VAT) Office on Thursday asked former SECAPS Hotel and D&C Industries in Accra to settle their 1999 outstanding taxes of 100.8 million cedis and 69 million cedis, respectively.
Their former premises were sealed off, even though they now have new occupants.
Mr Daniel B. Arthur, Head of Kaneshie Industrial Area Office, who led the VAT officials, said the companies had been given two weeks within which to pay or make acceptable arrangements for payment before the offices would be reopened.
Mr Arthur said that the debts were detected in 2000 when VAT carried out assessment control verification on all companies. SECAPS Hotel located near the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange has been rented by True Ministry International and is being used as a church. Mr Arthur said though SECAPS Hotel was not operating at present, its former owner incurred the debt and if the owner did not pay up, the premises would be auctioned.
He said VAT Offices were processing the papers of a number of traders in Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi and Osu Ringway for "seal off" orders, which would enable VAT to sue such companies at the courts. He said this was the beginning of a chain of actions to be undertaken by VAT to collect all returns from defaulting companies before the end of the year.
In addition to the distress warrant under which companies are closed by VAT, the Commissioner had set up a taskforce to go round demanding payments from traders, he said.
Mr Paul Gyamerah, Operations Manager of L'Air Liquide, which has rented the D&C Industries premises, said all efforts would be made to defray the debt by Friday for it to continue with its business.