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Regional News Wed, 7 May 2003

VAT Service denies that only Kumasi Central Market retailers pay tax

The Value Added Tax (VAT) Service has denied claims that it is only Kumasi Central Market retailers who pay VAT while some retailers operating in other markets are exempted.

Mr Samuel Kofi Otabil, Ashanti Regional Head of the VAT Service, described the claims as untrue since all retailers with a turnover of 100 million cedis and above pay VAT irrespective of the location of their businesses.

Mr Otabil was reacting to concerns raised by Kumasi Central Market retailers, that it was only they that had been targeted by the Service to pay VAT.

This was an outcome of a meeting held in Kumasi on Monday by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr S.K. Boafo, officials of the VAT Service and the Kumasi Central Market retailers to resolve a recent impasse between the retailers and the VAT Service regarding the payment of VAT.

They accused the Service of not having done enough to enlighten the retailers most of whom are illiterates on the value, procedure and terms of the VAT.

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Mr Otabil said: "VAT is not confined to any particular market nor is it limited to only manufacturers, distributors or key retailers, but extended to all business operators who qualify to register without any discrimination whatsoever."

Mr Boafo said lack of knowledge about who qualified to register for VAT payment and the procedure for filing and making payments by retailers had contributed to the misconception by the retailers about the VAT.

He appealed to the VAT Service to step up educating the retailers to heighten their appreciation of the tax.

Mr Boafo also called on the various retailers associations and groupings in the Central Market to complement efforts of the VAT Service by embarking on programmes to educate members on the need to register with the VAT.

Source: gna
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