Using money in Ghana

Fraud and taxes

Using money in Ghana

Ghana has not yet adopted the ‘plastic culture’ that many Westerners are accustomed to regarding money, therefore the country is primarily a cash society, so be prepared to always carry some with you.

Cash society

You will not be able to use a credit card card to make purchases other than at a limited-number of high-end hotels and restaurants. A few supermarkets will accept credit cards, but most shops will not. So, carry cash with you in order to be sure that you will always be able to make a purchase.

It is a good idea to always have plenty of small banknotes and coins with you. A ₵50 or ₵20 banknote is convenient only to make a large purchase, but places you will shop on a daily basis will not be able to make change for these large denominations. 

Credit card fraud

Sadly, Ghana is known to be prone to credit card fraud. Even airlines in Ghana will not accept online credit card payments from within the country (you must go to their office and pay for your reservation).

Not only is it more convenient to pay with cash in Ghana, it is more secure. Carry your credit card with you if only you need to use it to withdraw cash - and do not let it out of your sight.

For online purchases, it may be best to set up a Paypal account. Never send or request anything, such as email receipts or faxes, that may have your credit card number on it.

Taxes on expenditures

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a broad-based tax that will be added to most purchases of goods and/or services in Ghana if purchased from a registered business. The current standard rate for VAT is about 12½ percent.

National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL)
NHIL is a levy that is imposed on all goods and services supplied or imported into Ghana, unless otherwise exempted. It is charged at a rate of 2½ on the VAT exclusive selling price of goods supplied or services rendered. NHIL is collected by registered businesses.

VAT Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS)
The VFRS is a marginal rate, 3 percent, that registered retailers of taxable goods shall charge on each taxable item sold.

Further reading

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