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Ghana Corporate - Significant developments

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Conversion of the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) and Ghana Education Trust Fund Levy (GETFL) to straight levies

The National Health Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act 971) and Ghana Education Trust Fund (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act 972) separated the NHIL and GETFL from the value-added tax (VAT) regime with effect from 1 August 2018. VAT-registered persons are therefore no longer entitled to an input tax deduction for the NHIL and GETFL of 2.5% (each) imposed on the value of qualifying taxable supplies.

Reduction of the VAT rate

Effective 1 August 2018, the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2018 (Act 970) reduced the standard VAT rate from 15% to 12.5%.

Initiatives

The 2019 budget has the following tax policies or initiatives proposed by the government to be undertaken during the year:

Direct taxes

  • Shifting the tax collection point of small scale mining operators from withholding tax (WHT) to the point of export.
  • Capitalising tax exemptions (expenditures) granted to mining companies to enable the government to secure additional equity holdings in such companies.

Indirect taxes

  • Providing support and incentives to local textile manufactures to improve their competitiveness and attractiveness by using tax stamps and zero-rating supplies for VAT purposes.
  • Introducing tax incentives, such as tax holiday and exemption form import taxes, for government’s flagship programme for industrialisation, the One District One Factory initiative.
  • Implementing the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff to address cross-border smuggling, combat dumping, and bring economic benefits to the sub-region.
  • Introducing tax free solutions for full electric vehicles as a measure to protect the environment and in line with the government’s commitment to sustainable development goals.

Tax administration

  • Intensifying tax compliance measures, such as prosecution of offenders, and implementation of the Fiscal Electronic Device Act and excise tax stamp policy.
  • Reforming the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and effecting changes aimed at boosting the GRA’s performance and enhancing the work ethic of its staff.
  • Broadening the tax net through the use of third party data and enforcing tax identification number related laws.
  • Deploying the National Builder’s Corps to aid in revenue mobilisation by identifying and registering potential taxpayers.
  • Amending the tax exemption regime as a way of optimising benefits to the economy and ensuring undue loss of revenue.

Last Reviewed - 05 December 2018

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