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How to Invoice with the new VAT system in Ghana [template provided]

Well, the new Value Added Tax (VAT) was brought into force last year but we  still receive invoices from vendors of clients who used the old VAT rate. The old VAT system is at a rate of 17.5% which is made up of 12.5% for VAT revenue for Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and 5% paid into (National Health Insurance Levy) NHIL & (Ghana Education Fund) GETFUND. This 17.5% is applied wholly on the tax exclusive amount to arrive at the VAT to be charged. Moreover, all these taxes paid are recoverable, meaning you can defray part of the taxes with your input VAT received from your vendors.

However, in the new system, there is a separate levy of 2.5% for GETFUND, another 2.5% for NHIL. These two levies are supposed to be initially calculated on the VAT exclusive amount to arrive at the first set of taxes to add to the VAT exclusive amount. After adding these two levies to arrive at a new sub-total, calculate the VAT of 12.5% on that sub-total to arrive at your total VAT to be charged to your customer. What this means is that, currently, the 12.5% VAT is a compound tax; it requires that all preceding levies/taxes to be added to the selling price before applying the tax percentage. Moreover in the new system, GETFUND and NHIL are not recoverable, meaning they cannot be reduce with input VAT.

Example – Old VAT system

Selling price of printer                             = GHS1,000
VAT          @ 17.5%                                    = GHS175
Total price to be paid by customer        =GHS1,175 (1000+175)

Meaning that at the last day of the month following the month of sale, you need to file and pay GHS175 (minus any VAT you got from the suppliers/vendors of your products) to GRA.


Example – New VAT system

Selling price of printer                           = GHS1,000
GETFUND @2.5%                                   =GHS25
[email protected]%                                              =GHS25
Sub-total                                               =GHS1050 (1000+25+25)
VAT @ 12.5%                                            = GHS131.25
Grand total                                          = GHS1,181.25 (1050+131.25)

With this new system, you will have to file the GETFUND and NHIL together on one returns form and the VAT on a separate returns form. Also, the GETFUND & NHIL are not recoverable, so you cannot reduce them by your input VAT. However, you have the option of treating them as expenses in your income statements to reduce your chargeable income. Moreover, you will realize the the new VAT, being a compound tax, allows for the addition of the GETFUND & NHIL amounts before the 12.5% is applied.

Now, finally some clients have asked us how they can get to their final sales (VAT inclusive) using a single percentage without going through all these calculations. The answer is to use an effective rate of 18.125%. By using 18.125%, you can arrive at an amount which includes the two levies (GETFUND & NHIL) as well as the VAT.

We have made this simple with our all new free Built app which comes with invoices and taxes already pre-configured, You use select the applicable taxes and it works for you. Sign up at now and get started using your automated free Built invoicing and accounting app.

Also, if you want a template to use in invoicing your clients, we have created one for you. Click here to download.


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