The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) Commences the Implementation of tax on Gaming Winnings.
The GRA has commenced the implementation of 10% withholding tax laws of lottery operators and gaming winnings across the country.
Following the announcement on the new tax imposition on operators and gaming winnings, lottery operators has commenced the withholding of 10 per cent of winnings and remitting it to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as taxes.
The lottery operators, including private lotto operators, sports betting operators, casino operators, route operators, remote interactive games and other games-of-chance operators, are also expected to pay a 20 per cent tax on their Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR).
Florence Asante, the Assistant Commissioner, Communications at the GRA, confirmed that implementation of the tax law agreed with operators have taken off.
She said that the authority has started full implementation of the law and has put measures in place to ensure compliance.
She added that one of the measures in place, was an electronic platform which all the lottery operators will be connected to.
Asante explained that the authority could monitor the systems of the lottery operators from the platform to find out their compliance levels.
To enable the GRA assess the precise tax to be remitted from lottery operations, the authority had established a Revenue Monitoring System (RMS) to verify the actual revenue accrued to lottery operators.
The GRA would obtain physical access to the system of the lottery operators at the right time to conduct checks when necessary.
Assante also stated the authority would use a test purchase approach where some officials of the GRA would also participate in some lottery games to test the system with the aim of finding out if the 10 per cent on their winnings would be withheld.
The authority would also verify from the platform on timely bases if the lottery operators were experiencing any challenges.
She commended the lottery operators for their cooperation and urged game players to cooperate with the new law as well. According to her, everyone needs to pay taxes when income is earned, to contribute to national development.
The Commissioner of Domestic Tax Revenue Division of GRA, Edward Gyambrah, last week announced the implementation of the tax which sought to raise about GH¢1.2 billion as revenue through taxation of lottery operations.
According to him, GRA estimated mobilization of more than GH¢3 billion in 2024.
This estimation follows the implementation of the Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 2023, Act 1094, which cites GGR of operators and winnings of players as taxable income.
Mr Gyambrah explained that the move formed part of efforts to improve Ghana’s domestic tax revenue which stood at 11.4 per cent, lower than the average of other low to middle income countries estimated at 20.02 per cent.
He noted that per the law, lottery operators were required to withhold tax from the gross winnings at the rate of 10 per cent and added that, for casino and route operations, the withholding tax was on the final gross payout by the player.
The operations of the National Lottery Authority are exempted from the taxation since its revenue is lodged into the Consolidated Fund.
Some parliamentarians like Kennedy Agyapong and Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu have justified the decision to impose taxation on betting and lottery wins stating that it should have been more, as countries like USA imposes tax on winnings.