GRA to implement 10% withholding tax on betting, lottery winnings from August 15

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced that it will begin implementing a 10% withholding tax on all gross gaming winnings from August 15, 2023.

The GRA explained that the withholding tax will be charged on profits accrued after each win and that the existing 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) rate on each stake will no longer be charged.

The GRA said that the new policy is in line with an amendment to the Income Tax Act 2023 (No.2), Act 1094.

Speaking at a media engagement session, the Commissioner for the Domestic Tax Revenue Division at the GRA, Edward Gyamerah, said that gaming companies that fail to comply with the new policy will face sanctions, including the withdrawal of their licenses.

“Come August 15, we expect that when you are making the payments, you will withhold 10 percent to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). As you have been appointed as withholding agents, the obligation is on you to withhold. If you fail to do that, with the interactions we had with you and with the support of the gaming commission, you can be assured that your licenses will be withdrawn,” the Commissioner for the Domestic Tax Revenue Division at GRA, Edward cautioned.

The GRA also announced the introduction of new excise duties on beverages as part of the amendment to the Income Tax Act.

The Head of the Compliance Excise Unit at the GRA, Nelson Bright Atsu, said that fruit juices, grapes, and vegetable juices that are unfermented and do not contain added spirits or sugar will now attract a 20% excise duty. He said that the excise duty on other beverages has been increased from 17.5% to 20%.

Mr. Atsu also said that beverage companies that use more local raw materials will be eligible for a rebate on their excise duty payments.

The new withholding tax on gaming winnings and excise duties on beverages are part of the GRA’s efforts to improve revenue mobilization in Ghana.