HomeBusinessKPMG Report Reveals SML's Failure to Pay GH¢13.38 Million in VAT

KPMG Report Reveals SML’s Failure to Pay GH¢13.38 Million in VAT

Accounting firm, KPMG, has observed in its report commissioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, into the contract between the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Limited (SML) that SML did not pay VAT worth GH¢13.38 million.

The report indicated no deductions of Value Added Tax (VAT) by GRA for eight months on payments. Between September 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, a bulk payment to SML covering eight-month invoices did not have VAT and withholding tax deductions, amounting to GH¢13.38 million.

“This contradicts the GRA’s standard practice of deducting such taxes for payments to SML between June 1, 2020 and August 31, 2023,” the report stated.

Change of name

The report further indicated that the company changed its name from Strategic Mobilisation Enhancement Limited (SMEL) to SML after the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) refused to approve the single-source process three times in 2017.

Additionally, the contract’s disapproval was because the company lacked the capacity or prior experience in delivering the services – curbing under-declaration, dilution and diversion of petroleum products — the factors responsible for revenue losses in the downstream petroleum sector.

The report indicated that SMEL, established on February 14, 2017, changed its name to SML on November 22, 2017. “SMEL was incorporated on February 14, 2017. During the period from June 16 to September 14, 2017, GRA made three (3) unsuccessful attempts to obtain PPA’s approval to single-source SMEL to provide transaction audit services. On November 22, 2017, SMEL changed its name to SML,” page 11 of the KPMG report highlighted.

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Page 14 of the same report noted that the Ghana Revenue Authority, in 2018, proceeded to award contracts to SML without the approval of PPA.

Sub-contractor

On June 1, 2018, SML was appointed as a sub-contractor to the West Blue Ghana Limited, then a service provider to the GRA, to provide transaction audit services for seven months.

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“On January 1, 2019, GRA executed, without PPA’s approval, an extended transaction audit services agreement with SML, renewable on a monthly basis, following the expiration of West Blue’s contract and SML’s subcontract agreement on December 31, 2018,” it added.

According to the KPMG report, the Ghana Revenue Authority entered into six service agreements with SML, utilising the single-source method without approval from PPA. President Akufo-Addo suspended the contracts after The Fourth Estate investigation and tasked KPMG to audit and submit a report.

The contract entered into by the GRA and SML was to enhance revenue assurance in the downstream petroleum sector, the upstream petroleum production and the minerals and metals resources value chain.

The revenue, in a statement issued on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, also affirmed that its board and management followed the correct processes in procuring the services of the SML.

The Finance Committee of Parliament on December 23, 2023, recommended suspending all payments under the government’s contract with the SML from 2024, pending a probe into the contract by Parliament.

The committee said upon a review of the contract, it requires parliamentary approval under the Financial Management Act, hence the need for the GRA to be notified about the statutory requirement.

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