Ride-hailing drivers in Ghana have criticised the Ghana Revenue Authority’s decision to implement a vehicle income tax (VIT), which must be paid quarterly, and which is slated to take effect from 1st January, 2024.
The tax notice states that anyone who owns a commercial vehicle, and earns income from its operation must pay the tax. Ride-hailing companies operating in the country, including Uber, Bolt, and Yango, are required to verify that their drivers have paid the VIT before allowing them to operate on their platforms.
The GRA also requires ride-hailing companies to request a soft copy of the VIT sticker from their drivers, validate the authenticity of the stickers with the GRA, and submit a quarterly list of all vehicles on their platforms to the GRA.
The GRA’s breakdown indicates that ride-hailing vehicles fall under “Class A” and will be required to pay 12 Ghana Cedis quarterly, totalling 48 GHC annually. The tax is part of Ghana’s ongoing efforts to impose levies on ride-hailing services, following the introduction of the “Digital Transport Guidelines” by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority in April, which imposed a levy on every ride-hailing trip.
Ghanaian ride-hailing service drivers have not masked their displeasure at the VIT. The drivers argue that the ride-hailing companies they work for should bear the tax burden instead, since the drivers already pay a commission to these companies.
Bolt and Uber charge a 20% commission on every trip, while Yango reportedly takes 18%. Additionally, the drivers pay for fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, so they view the additional tax as an unnecessary burden which will only worsen their financial challenges.