The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has called on the general public, especially taxpayers, to comply with the new tax laws passed by Parliament as it prepares to implement them by May 1, this year.
Government, in the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament, announced three new tax laws and proposed amendment to two existing ones which have since received approval by the House.
“The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority brings to the notice of the general public, especially taxpayers that Parliament has passed three new tax laws and amended two existing laws to be implemented in 2021,” the Commission said in a statement.
The Acting Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah wants taxpayers to take judicial notice and comply accordingly.
The laws are the Penalty and Interest Waiver Act, 2021 (Act 1065), COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1068), Financial Sector Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1067), Energy Sector Levy (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1064), and the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1066).
In a statement, the GRA indicated that the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1068) and the Energy Sector Levy (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1064) would take effect from May 1, 2021.
On the Penalty and Interest Waiver Act 2021 (Act 1065), the Commissioner-General said there would be a waiver of penalties and interests on accumulated tax arrears up to December 2020 for persons who make arrangements to pay the principal tax.
“The application for the waiver can be done from 1st April to September 2021. The period of payment of the waiver lasts until 31st December 2021,” the statement added and pointed out that “the waiver does not apply to payments and returns due from 1st January 2021 under an enactment administered by the Commissioner-General.”
For the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1068), the GRA explained that the Act imposes a one per cent levy on the supply of goods and services made in the country other than exempt goods or services; and import of goods and services other than exempt imports.
“The Levy also applies to the supply of goods subject to the VAT Flat Rate. The COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy is not allowable as an input tax deduction,” the GRA asserted.
The statement explained further that the Financial Sector Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1067) imposes a five per cent levy on the profit before tax of banks, and that the tax is payable in quarterly installments.
It stated, however, that for 2021, “the levy is payable in three installments commencing from 30th June 2021.”
For the Energy Sector Levy (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1064), it stated that the amendment had added two additional sections, 5A and 5B and that section 5A imposes GH¢20 pesewas per litre of petrol/diesel and 18 pesewas per kg on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
On the section 5B, it said there is an imposition of GH¢10 pesewas per litre of petrol and diesel Sanitation and Pollution Levy, whilst the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1066) had amended the sixth schedule to the Income Tax Act 201.
“It provides for a 30% rebate of income tax due for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021 for taxpayers in the following areas – accommodation and food, education, travel and tours, and arts and entertainment sectors.”
It has also provided a suspension of quarterly income tax installment payments for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021 by self-employed persons applying the Income tax stamp system and owners of taxis and trotros under the Vehicle Income Tax (VIT) system.
To benefit from these concessions, a person must be registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority, who has made installment payment for the first quarter of 2021 and continues to discharge any other obligations specified by an enactment administered by the Commissioner-General.
“Additional information on these laws and amendments can be obtained from the GRA website. The general public, including all taxpayers, are entreated to take note of these laws and amendments and comply accordingly,” the statement concluded.