Income Tax Administration
in Ghana started in September, 1943 with the passing into law of the
Income Tax Bill on 22nd September, 1943 as the Income Tax Ordinance
No.27 of 1943. Initially, the Department collected tax from only a
few limited liability companies and a very small number of individuals.
Over the years other taxes and duties were added to the Income
i) Minerals Duty 1952
ii) Betting Tax 1952
iii) Casino Revenue Tax 1955
Between 1961 and 1963, additional taxes and duties were introduced.
Among these are Property Tax (1961), Entertainment Duty Tax (1962),
Airport Tax, Hotel Customers Tax, Standard Assessment and Excess
Profits Tax, all in 1963.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) was introduced with effect from lst July,
1961 and the tax year was changed from April – March to July
– June. The tax year was again changed to January –
December with effect from lst January 1983.
In July 1963, the Income Tax Department was renamed Central Revenue
Department to reflect the broad scope of taxes to be collected.
All these years – 1943 – 1985 the Department was a civil
However, in July 1986, the Provisional National Defence Council
(PNDC) government took a decision on structural changes in the organisation
and legislation – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) law –
1986 (PNDCL.143) – was passed. This law transformed the hitherto
Central Revenue Department into a public service organisation. Prior
to the promulgation of PNDCL.143) in 1986 the government in 1985
established the National Revenue Secretariat (NRS) with a ministerial
status to supervise the Revenue Agencies. This role was performed
with virtual autonomy from the Ministry of Finance.
In 1991, the National Revenue Secretariat was relocated under the
Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MFEP). With the coming
into force of the Constitution of the Fourth Republic, the NRS lost
its ministerial status and was placed strategically between the
Sector Ministry and the Revenue Institutions.
Further restructuring led to the promulgation of the Revenue Agencies
(Governing) Board Act, 1998 (Act.558) to establish a Central governing
body in place of the existing governing boards of IRS, CEPS and
VATS. However, the Revenue Agencies Governing Board was constituted
in the year 2001 to ensure supervision and co-ordination of the
activities of the three Revenue Agencies