GRA must clamp down on tax evaders in oil sector – AOMCs
The Association of Oil Marketing Companies is urging the Ghana Revenue Authority to ensure that the new taxes introduced in the country are charged on every litre of fuel sold on the market.
The association also wants the GRA to put in place measures to stop tax evasion to ensure that government realises the purpose to which taxes were reviewed in the country.
In a recent report by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) on the country’s petroleum sector, it was revealed that Ghana lost GHS1.9 billion to tax evasion in 2019.
But as part of efforts towards revamping the country’s economy amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some new taxes were introduced on petroleum products which have among other things resulted in the increase in fuel prices from GHS5.45 per litre to GHS6.5 at the pumps.
Board Chairman of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Henry Akwaboah, said that if the issue of fuel smuggling is not addressed, these new taxes will further enrich the pockets of tax evaders in the sector.
“If we fail to collect these taxes, it means that we are enriching those who evade taxes with 47 pesewas for every litre that is sold outside the formal distribution channels.”
He added that these tax evasions enable non-compliant Oil Marketing Companies to sell much lower than the market average.
He however cautioned the public to be minded that such low prices might not necessarily mean improved quality of fuel products.
“When companies evade taxes, it helps them to as it were charge lower prices. For me, low prices on the market do not always mean quality. We all need to interrogate and understand why some players are able to charge prices that are ridiculously lower than the average industry prices.”
“I am calling on the security agencies to ensure that products that filter through into the country illegally are checked because if these products get in and are sold to the public, somebody is getting rich by 47 pesewas in addition to the existing tax,” he added.
Some of the taxes include the Energy Sector Recovery Levy of 20 pesewas per litre of petrol/diesel and 18 pesewas per kg on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
In addition, there was the imposition of a Sanitation and Pollution Levy of GHS10 pesewas per litre of petrol and diesel.
The Ghana Revenue Authority began the implementation of these new taxes introduced in the 2021 budget statement from May 1, 2021.