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GRA targets Ghanaian residents with earnings abroad for tax

Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)
Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA)

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has clarified that, by law, only four categories of Ghanaians residents who earn income abroad are being targeted for tax purposes.

The clarification comes in the wake of widespread concerns about a recent announcement by the GRA that it was targeting Ghanaians living here but earning income from sources outside of the country for tax purposes.

In January this year, the GRA said it had done tax assessment on some 70,000 Ghanaians living here but working in 40 countries, and discovered some GHS2.8 billion in their bank accounts, out of which it was expecting GHS1.6 billion as taxes from these individuals.

The GRA also stated that further assessment was being done and the tax liabilities is expected to appreciate.

The announcement caused widespread concerns among Ghanaians both at home and abroad, with some even politicizing the issue and saying that who could the GRA this government which promised to steer the country away from taxation to production, be targeting even Ghanaians earning moneys from sources outside of the country.

“In light of these concerns, it is important to clarify who qualifies as a resident individual for tax purposes,” GRA said in a statement.

According to GRA, “this isn’t a new tax. It’s a worldwide phenomenon to ask resident individuals to declare taxes on incomes earned abroad. If taxes have already been paid then no taxes are applied locally.”

It explained that the legal definition of a resident individual for tax purposes is grounded in the Income Tax Act 2015 (Act 896), Sections 3 (2) (a), 103, and 111.

Per the law, individuals considered resident for tax purposes are:

1. citizens with a permanent home in Ghana residing in the country throughout the year

2. citizens present in Ghana for at least 183 days in any 12-month period that begins or ends within the year

3. government employees or officials posted abroad

4. citizens temporarily absent from Ghana for not more than 365 continuous days who maintain a permanent home in Ghana

The GRA said it has opened a special window to facilitate easier declaration and payment of taxes for resident individuals to report undisclosed incomes and rectify their records, adding that all eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to utilize this opportunity to regularize their tax affairs.

“For more information, eligibility criteria, and participation methods, please visit the GRA website at www.gra.gov.gh, call our Toll-Free number at 0800- 900-110, use WhatsApp at 0552-990-000/0200-631-664, email us via info@gra.gov.gh, or visit your nearest Taxpayer Service Centre (TSC) for assistance,” the statement said.

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