Gov’t to tax foreign incomes of resident Ghanaians to replace VAT on electricity


In a bid to address a significant revenue gap resulting from the abandoned value-added tax (VAT) on electricity earlier this year, the government of Ghana is proposing a tax on the foreign incomes of resident Ghanaians.

The VAT on electricity, introduced at the beginning of the year, was met with public resistance, leading to its abandonment and leaving a revenue shortfall of approximately 1.8 billion cedis.

Julie Essiam, the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, stated during a recent media engagement that the focus now lies on taxing the foreign incomes of Ghanaians who reside in the country for 183 days or more. The government is optimistic that enforcing compliance with this tax measure will effectively close the revenue gap.

“So the measure that we put in place is a compliance measure on foreign income of resident unions. This measure is already in the law, so it is not a new measure. The difference is that its implementation and application has not been implemented effectively. We have gone through credible and sustainable processes and structures to ensure that when we implement this measure, the sustainability of this measure is going to go beyond 2024 in our revenue numbers, she said.”

The GRA boss also encouraged taxpayers to take advantage of the window created to get the interest on their accounts waived.

She added “Its implementation has begun because the team is mobilizing themselves and drafting the letters to be sent to individual account holders. So by the 2nd of May, those letters might have gone out. If individuals come forward within three months and say that, this is the amount in this account, the interest on the account will be waived and that is the voluntary disclosure aspect of this measure”.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam wants Ghanaians to bear with the government as new measures are introduced to restore the economy.