The West African country of Ghana imposed its Value Added Tax on non-resident providers of digital or electronic services to consumer 1 April 2022. The original VAT Act containing the obligation was passed in 2013, but the Ghana Revenue Authority did not have the resources to implement the requirements. There is a VAT registration threshold of GHS 200,000 per annum (approx €28,000).
The current VAT rate in Ghana is 12.5%. VAT Calc’s global VAT and GST on digital services blog keeps a live update on how countries are imposing indirect taxes on non-resident providers and electronic marketplaces.
What digital services are subject to Ghanaian VAT?
Income from the following digital services transmitted by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems is liable to Ghanaian VAT:
- Electronic commerce
- Data transmission
- Website hosting
- Streaming or download media (video, music etc)
- Images and text
- Distance maintenance of programmes and equipment
VAT registration and returns
If a non-resident passed the VAT registration threshold of GHS 200,000 per annum then they should register with the Commissioner-General of the URA. Or GHS 50,000 in three months and with reasonable grounds to exceed turnover of GHS 150,000 in the next nine months. A VAT agent is likely to be required.
The is a special VAT registration portal for non-residents to use to register, report and remit any VAT due.
Once VAT registered, VAT returns are required on a monthly basis. These should be filed by the 21st of the following month along with any VAT due.
Africa & Middle East VAT on digital services
|Comments (click for details)||Rate||Date||Threshold||Comments|
|Cameroon||19.5%||Jan 2020||XAF 50 million|
|Egypt||14%||Sep 2016||EGP 500,000|
|Ghana||12.5%||Apr 2022||GHS 200,000|
|Israel||17%||2022||–||Proposal in 2021/22 budget|
|Kenya||16%||Sep 2013||KES 5million|
|Oman||5%||Apr 2021||OMR 35,000|
|Saudi Arabia||15%||Jan 2018||Nil|
|South Africa||15%||Jun 2014||ZAR 1 million|
|Tanzania||18%||Jul 2022||Nil||Residents since Jul 2015|
|Tunisia||19%||Jan 2020||Nil||Withholding VAT; 3% Royalty Tax|
|Uganda||18%||Jan 2020||UGX 150m|
|United Arab Emirates||5%||Jan 2018||AED 375,000|