Tech giant Meta Platforms has announced that beginning August 1, 2023 it will start collecting value-added tax (VAT) and levies for the Ghana government on all adverts posted in its platforms in the country.
In a notice to all users who place adverts on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and recently Threads, Meta said “Due to implementation of a value-added tax (VAT) in Ghana, Meta is required to charge VAT and levies on the sale of ads to advertisers, regardless of whether you’re buying ads for business or personal purposes.”
The notice added that “All advertisers with a business in the country of Ghana will be charged an additional 2.5% National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), 2.5% Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), 1% COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy (COVID-19 HRL), and 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on advertising services purchased beginning 1 August 2023.”
This will also affect any other Adverts Display Network that serves Meta Ads.
This means, in total, the government of Ghana will get at least 21% of all the revenue Meta gets from adverts placed on its platforms in Ghana.
Meta however noted that those who are registered for VAT and are entitled to VAT refunds, should provide their names, addresses and VAT ID, which will be put on their your advert receipts, to help them recover any VAT they paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) through Meta.
They then provided the steps on how to add your VAT ID to your ad account as follows:
- Go to Payment Settings
- Click “Open Payment Settings” and click “Edit” under “Business Info”
- Scroll down to the field “Tax ID Number”
- Add your Ghana VAT ID
Analyst welcomes the tax
Meanwhile, Ghanaian Technology Analyst and Digital Marketer, Maximus Ametorgoh has been telling Techfocus24 that he is excited about the development because it gives GRA and the government of Ghana the opportunity to have a share of the huge global digital economy.
It is, for instance, estimated that during the 2020 electioneering campaign, between August and December alone, political parties and politicians spent over US$300,000 on adverts on Meta platforms. If this new tax regime was in place, the country would have gotten at least US$66,000 of that money. But Meta kept all that money at the time.
“We spend a lot of money paying for goods and services online without our government getting its share. Digital Economy gives us the opportunity to treat any entity that does business within our virtual space or digital marketplace to pay their respective taxes and levies,” he said.
Maximus Ametorgoh congratulated GRA for the innovative initiative to place Ghana in the digital economy to also harvest its fair share of the revenues, adding that other platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, Google, EBay, Alibaba, AirBnB, PlayStation and the likes must also be added.