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Place, time and value of supply


Place of supply

Other than exempt goods and services, the importation of taxable goods is subject to VAT and NHIL, and the importer of the goods is required to account for the tax.

The place of supply of goods is the place from which the goods are supplied. The place of supply of a service is the supplier’s place of business or the place from which the service is supplied or rendered.


Importation of taxable supplies is subject to VAT and NHIL. The receiver of the service is required to account for VAT and NHIL by means of a ‘reverse charge’ mechanism. The reverse charge applies to services that are supplied by a nonresident business, and received by a resident taxable person. There are no specific invoicing requirements.

Time of supply The time of supply rules are as follows:

  • goods or services applied for own use – the date the goods or services are applied to own use;

  • goods or services supplied by way of gift – date on which ownership in the goods passes or the performance of the services is completed;

any other case – the earliest of the date on which:

the goods are removed from the taxable person’s premises, or from other premises where the goods are under the taxable person’s control;

the goods are made available to the person to whom they are supplied;

the services are supplied or rendered;

payment is received; or the tax invoice is issued.



Exports of taxable goods are zero- rated supplies that attract VAT and NHIL at the rate of 0%. However, the law is not clear on the export of exempt goods.


The export of services is zero-rated and is subject to a VAT and NHIL rate of 0%, if all requirements are met.

Refunds to foreigners

Refunds of VAT charged on goods purchased in Ghana by a taxable person not resident in Ghana for consumption outside Ghana may be authorised by the Commissioner, subject to such conditions as he may direct in writing.

Value of supply The value of supply rules are as follows:

  • supply for monetary consideration – the amount of the consideration plus all duties and taxes but excluding the tax (VAT and NHIL); and

  • supply is not for monetary consideration or partly for monetary consideration – the open market value of a similar supply excluding the tax.

VAT compliance

Tax period Tax period means one calendar month.

Returns and payment of VAT

VAT returns must be submitted monthly and must be filed not later than the last working day of the month immediately following the month to which the return relates. Payments must be made at the same time, by way of cash or cheque.

Electronic filing is not allowed.

Interest and penalties The following penalties are charged:

  • late submission of a return – penalty of GHS100;

  • for each day the return is not submitted – penalty of GHP50;

  • late payment – penalty of Bank of Ghana discount rate plus a quarter of that rate;

  • failure to register – GHS500 to GHS1,000; and

  • failure to issue tax invoice – GHS1,000.


Credit is given to offset the following month’s liability. A request for a refund may be made where the excess credit is outstanding for a continuous period of three months or more.

Objections and appeals

Disagreement with a decision of the VAT Service must be lodged with the Commissioner within 30 days after notice of the decision has been served on the taxpayer or upon his becoming aware of the decision.

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