Penalty and interest waiver extension
As part of the government’s efforts to provide some relief to taxpayers following the pandemic, penalty and interest waiver legislation was enacted by Parliament in 2021. This legislation has been subsequently amended to extend the application period for the tax amnesty to 30 June 2022.
Taxpayers who are in arrears for the submission of returns and/or the payment of taxes up to 31 December 2020 can apply for the waiver of penalties and interest, provided the following conditions have been met:
- Submit returns and make a full disclosure of undisclosed liabilities for periods up to 31 December 2020 on or before 30 June 2022.
- Pay or make arrangements with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to pay outstanding and assessed taxes by 30 June 2022.
Persons dissatisfied with the Commission-General’s (CG's) decision on an application can lodge a complaint with the CG. They may also proceed to court if the outcome of the complaint is deemed unsatisfactory.
Introduction of Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy)
Effective 1 May 2022, the government introduced and implemented a new legislation that imposes a levy on electronic transfers of money. The 1.5% e-Levy is chargeable by specified entities at the time of an electronic transfer and remitted to the GRA. The transactions covered by this legislation include the following:
- Mobile money transfers.
- Transfers between bank accounts and mobile money accounts.
- Bank transfers on an instant pay digital platform or application originating from a bank account belonging to an individual that are in excess of a daily threshold of 20,000 Ghana cedi (GHS).
However, some exemptions and exclusions have been specified to apply for the transactions within the scope of the E-Levy. These include the following:
- Cumulative transfers of GHS 100 per day by the same person.
- Transfers between accounts owned by the same person.
- Electronic clearing of cheques.
- Transfers for payment of taxes, fees, and charges on the government of Ghana through designated systems.
- Specified merchant payments.
Value-added tax (VAT) on electronic commerce
In line with the government’s efforts to increase revenue mobilisation, non-resident persons who provide telecommunications services or electronic commerce for use in Ghana are required to register on a designated portal for VAT purposes. The registration is aimed at streamlining the process of accounting and paying for VAT. Registration on the platform does not apply to non-resident persons who provide the aforementioned services via a registered VAT agent.
Restriction on VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS)
The VFRS has been modified to limit the applicability of the scheme to only retailers whose annual turnover is at least GHS 200,000 but does not exceed GHS 500,000. Taxable persons who operate the VFRS are required to account for VAT at 3% as well as administer the 1% COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy. No input VAT is claimable under the scheme. Persons who do not meet the required threshold are thus expected to account for VAT at 12.5% and the associated levies, which sum up to 6%.
Review of benchmark value discount policy
The benchmark discount policy has seen a revision in the applicable discount afforded on the customs value of vehicles and selected imported goods. The scope of selected goods covered by the policy has also been revised.
Effective 1 March 2022, the discount on imported vehicles has been reduced from 30% to 10%. Similarly, discounts on selected goods have been reviewed downwards to 30% from 50%.
Online filing of tax returns
In line with the GRA's digitalisation agenda, selected categories of taxpayers will be required to exclusively file tax returns via the GRA's online taxpayer portal.
Effective 1 April 2022, taxpayers with annual turnover in excess of GHS 5 million, excise taxpayers, and taxpayers registered with the Large Taxpayer Office (LTO) will no longer be able to file tax returns on the premises of their respective tax offices.