In November 2022, the Minister for Finance (during his reading of the budget statement and economic policy of the Government for the 2023 financial year) announced the Government’s intention to raise additional domestic revenue through certain changes to Ghana’s income tax regime (in case you missed it, please see our 2023 Legal and Regulatory Outlook for a comprehensive update). Following this announcement, the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill of 2022, the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill of 2022, the Ghana Revenue Authority (Amendment) of 2022 and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill of 2022 were prepared and submitted to the Parliament of Ghana for enactment.
Parliament passed these bills on 31 March 2023, but they did not become legally binding until 3 April 2023, when (following receipt of presidential assent and gazette notification) the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1094) (the Income Tax Act Amendment), the Excise Duty (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1093) (the Excise Duty Amendment), the Ghana Revenue Authority (Amendment) Act, 2023 (Act 1096), and the Growth and Sustainability Levy Act, 2023 (Act 1095) (the Growth and Sustainability Act) became effective.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), through a notice issued in April 2023, announced 1 May 2023 as the effective date for its administrative implementation of the Income Tax Act Amendment and the Excise Duty Amendment. This means that the GRA began enforcing (and taxpayers were required to start complying with) the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Amendment Act and the Excise Duty Amendment with effect from that date.
In relation to the Growth and Sustainability Act (which applies a levy to profits before tax (or gross production, in respect of mining companies and upstream oil and gas companies only) from 2023 to 2025), taxpayers are required to make quarterly payments and file quarterly returns on a self-assessment basis by 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December of each of the relevant financial years. However, since the Growth and Sustainability Act took effect within the second quarter of 2023, the first payment and filing for the 2023 financial year is due on 30 June 2023 and may cover obligations for both quarter 1 and quarter 2 of 2023.
It is expected that the GRA will issue administrative guidelines and practice notes to guide taxpayers on the implementation of these amendments in due course.