Ghana’s Parliament on Friday 31st March, 2023, passed three (3) new tax bills which are expected to rack up about GH¢4 billion annually. This forms part of the government’s measures to shore up domestic revenue to facilitate the Board Approval for the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme staff-level agreement.
Since the Income Tax Amendment Bill, The Excise Duty Amendment Bill, and the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill were passed, the government has received some backlash from the public as many lament the taxes will worsen their plight, pushing them down below the poverty line.
This has been particularly because, during the 2016 election, the NPP promised to reduce the tax burden on Ghanaians by shifting from taxation to production. Then opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, bashed the Mahama administration for piling up taxes that crippled industries and made the Ghanaians poorer and promised to scrap the “nuisance taxes.”
By 2018, the government had either scrapped or reviewed 16 taxes and levies. But six years on, as the government chases an International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, Ghanaians are counting all the new taxes from 2017.
Fact-Check Ghana in this report chronicles the scrapped, reviewed and new taxes introduced by the Akufo-Addo-led administration since 2017.
Increase in current levies and taxes on fuel prices
- An increase in BOST Margin from 3% to 9% in 2022.
- Increase in Energy Sector Recovery levy of 20p
- About 11% increase in Special Petroleum Tax (from 41 pesewas to 46 pesewas) on every litre of diesel and petrol.
- The 14 pesewa Price Stabilsation and Recovery Levy
- Increase in Fuel Marking Margin (from 3 pesewas to 5 pesewas) per litre of petrol and diesel.
- Increase in Primary Distribution margin from 8 pesewas to 10 pesewas.
- 36% increase in Unified Petroleum Price Fund (UPPF) from 22 pesewas to 30 pesewas.
- Increase in Road Fund Levy from 46 pesewas to 48 pesewas on every litre of diesel and petrol.
- Energy debt recovery levy to 40 pesewas
- Energy fund levy of 1 pesewa
– 1 per cent Special Import Levy;
– 17.5 per cent VAT/NHIL on financial services;
– 17.5 per cent VAT/NHIL on selected imported medicines, that are not produced locally;
– Initiate steps to remove import duties on raw materials and machinery for production within the context of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) Protocol;
– 17.5 per cent VAT/NHIL on domestic airline tickets;
– 5 per cent VAT/NHIL on Real Estate sales;
– Excise duty on petroleum;
– Special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent;
– Duty on the importation of spare parts;
– Levies imposed on kayayei by local authorities;
– Taxation, the gains from realisation of securities listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange or publicly held securities approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);
– Reduce National Electrification Scheme Levy from 5 per cent to 3 per cent;
– Reduce Public Lighting Levy from 5 per cent to 2 per cent;
– Replace the 17.5 VAT/NHIL rate with a flat rate of 3 per cent for traders; and
– Implement tax credits and other incentives for businesses that hire young graduate