The three new taxes introduced by the government of Ghana in 2023 – the Growth and Sustainability Levy Act (Act 1095), the Excise Duty Amendment Act 2022 (Act 1094), and the Income Tax Amendment Act 2022 (Act 1093) – have raised concerns about potential impacts on agribusiness in Ghana.
While the new taxes have been introduced to raise revenue and meet the conditions for a $3 billion IMF programme, these may pose challenges for agribusinesses, agripreneurs, and consumers, predominantly stakeholders in the agribusiness sector.
However, it is worth noting that these taxes build on previous amendments to tax laws that were introduced in the 2022 Mid-year Budget Review. Additionally, Ghana’s GDP grew by 5.4% in 2021, according to the Ghana Statistical Service, and the Economist Intelligence Unit revealed that Ghana’s real GDP growth strengthened in 2022, albeit slowing down in 2023-24 and picking up again in 2025-26.
It is also worth noting that stakeholders such as the Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) and partners called on the finance minister to grant tax exemptions on agricultural commodities prior to the introduction of these taxes (as there was an earlier unilateral announcement of the suspension of tax exemptions to key agricultural equipments and raw materials). Regarding corporate income tax, the general rate is 25%, but non-traditional exporters pay an 8% CIT rate, while banks lending to the agricultural sector pay a CIT rate.
Mining and upstream petroleum companies pay CIT at a rate of 35%, while companies primarily engaged in the hotel industry pay a reduced rate of 22%. Again, regarding value-added tax (VAT), the standard VAT rate in Ghana is 15%, and VAT is charged on the supply of goods and services where the supply is taxable.
We envisage the following as potential ramifications of the three new taxes imposed by the government on agribusinesses and recommend how our members can adjust to these actions.
Growth and Sustainability Levy Act, 2023 (Act 1095)
First, as stated in Clause 3 of the Act, since it is not an expense and hence not an acceptable deduction, it will raise the cost of doing business in Ghana. Since it is not a tax deduction, agribusinesses may pass the cost on to consumers by raising the price of their goods and services, which could heighten inflation depending on how elastic consumer demand are for these commodities. When agribusinesses cannot pass the cost on to consumers, they either have to absorb it themselves or transfer it by cutting back on production or supply, which means fewer jobs and fewer resources would be invested to produce goods and provide services.
Second, it will be challenging to collect this levy from mining and petroleum companies that have stability clauses in their agreements, which state that no change in fiscal legislation shall affect them until after their stability period (which can be anywhere from 15 to 25 years, depending on the agreement). Those that don’t have such provisions will likely try to internalize them, which will raise their production costs and lower their profits, ultimately raising their taxable corporate income.