Ghana Revenue Authority Launches E-Commerce And Digital Services Portal

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has launched a portal specifically for non-residents’ e-commerce and digital registration services. This they say is a step towards the collection of tax from electronic commerce and online businesses, which will begin 1st April 2022.

GRA has a target of GH¢80.3 billion to be collected for the year 2022, hence the new system of taxing e-commerce will broaden the tax net and scope and also significantly contribute to the Gross Domestic Product.

Commissioner general for GRA, Reverend Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, explained that the new tax system encompasses domestic and foreign online service providers, betting companies, and various portals that engage in cross-border businesses.

These new regulations mean international companies such as Google, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, and other multinational online businesses generating money in Ghana, will now have to register and comply with the new e-commerce tax.

He said this move would allow the GRA to meet the 2022 budget target and tax to GDP ratio.

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Rev. Owusu-Amoah also said the GRA was focused on making tax compliance easy through digitization and changing the trend of tax payment to meet the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

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“With the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, we need to reverse the trend in terms of our revenue and the contribution of Value Added Tax to our tax in Ghana. The idea is to cover all institutions no matter where they operate to pay the tax,” he said.

According to the Reverend Dr., tax collection is poor in Ghana and this has become a source of worry to the Authority.

He added that tax collection had to be matched with current digital trends and be digitized so as to prevent under-invoicing and non-issuance of invoices.

“It is against this background that we have decided as a country to roll out the e-VAT and to nip this problem in the bud. As of now, we have identified a number of taxpayers who will be joining us to start.”

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Rev. Owusu-Amoah said between now and the end of March, taxpayers together with their software developers will be brought up to date with the new application programming so that a they can also synchronize their systems. 

He added that GRA has a compliance tool in its system that prevents companies from moving their monies from Ghana when they’ve not fully paid their taxes.

The compliance tool ensures that non-residents in cross-border trading in the country, register, file and pay their expected taxes.

Mr. Colin Sykes, Head of Trade and Economic Reform Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, said the office was committed to helping the government’s ambition to increase revenue generation.

He said exploring avenues to tax e-commerce was an important step to bring in additional revenue.

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