Non-resident e-commerce, Digital Services Registration Portal Launched By GRA

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

The Ghana Revenue Authority has launched a non-resident e-commerce and Digital Services Registration portal as a first step to begin the taxing of electronic commerce and online businesses, beginning April 1, 2022.

The move is to widen the tax net, broaden the tax scope, enhance the contribution of tax revenue to the Gross Domestic Product and complement the GRA efforts to achieve a revenue target of GH¢80.3 billion for 2022.

The commissioner-General of GRA, Reverend Dr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, said the online tax would be targeted at both domestic and foreign online service providers, betting companies and all portals that engage in cross-border business.

This will mean that the likes of Google, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon and other multinational online businesses that accrue revenue from Ghana would have to register and comply with Ghana’s e-commerce tax.

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

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

“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.

He said tax contribution in Ghana was low and a worry to the Authority.

He said it was important to digitise tax collection to ensure that taxpayers pay the right amount of tax and to avoid under invoicing and non-issue 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 number of taxpayers who will be joining us to start.”

Rev. Owusu-Amoah said taxpayers and their software developers would be engaged and provided with the application programming interface between now and the end of March to ensure that they synchronise their systems.

He said the GRA had built in its system a compliance tool to ensure that the companies duly pay their taxes before moving their monies from Ghana.

To realise the potential, especially from the non-resident in the digital economy the portal had been developed to ensure that non-resident engaged in cross-border trade register, file and pay the applicable taxes.

Mr Colin Sykes, Head of Trade and Economic Reform Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, said the office was committed to helping 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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