It is emerging that some retailers of local excisable products are yet to comply with the tax stamp policy, two weeks into the implementation of the policy.
The policy has faced stiff opposition from business associations over the impact it is having on their cost of operations.
Citi Business News visited some major retail centers to assess the level of compliance with the tax stamp policy after enforcement took off on the 1st of March, 2018.
The situation of local products not having the tax stamps embossed; is no different when one visits major retail outlets in Accra.
A Chief Revenue Officer at the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Kwabena Apau tells Citi Business News the challenge with the local products is that most of them are old stock, hence it will require some time to get the stamps fixed.
“With the old stock, retailers and wholesalers have to apply for the stamp and this may take a while, also, these are early days yet, even though 1st of March has elapsed, we still have to make sure that if anybody puts in applications for stamps, we need to check the stock and so gradually we are pushing it,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Food and Beverages Association, Samuel Aggrey whose outfit have been resisting the tax stamp policy, believes the only way for the local businesses to achieve a hundred percent compliance, is for government to devise a way of implementing the tax without adding to the cost of their businesses.
“If acquiring the machine is a challenge, what is the next thing that we can do because there is a solution, there are technologies that we can apply to achieve the same results, these technologies if applied well, will not add to the cost of our operations”.
Meanwhile Mr. Kwabena Apau insists that importers and shop owners who fail to comply with the policy will face prosecution after the grace period expires.
“I believe that the policy will help all of us, and we will continue to emphasize that, we need to protect businesses by enforcing this policy and all sanctions will apply to defaulters”.