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Communications Service Tax (CST)

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GRADomestic TaxTax TypesCommunications Service Tax (CST)

Communications Service Tax

The Communications Service Tax (CST) is one levied on charges for the use of communications services that are provided by electronic communications service providers. CST is imposed under Section 1 of the

Young black gentleman in jacket, speaking mobile phone

Communications Service Tax Act 2008, (Act 754),  CST(Amendment) Act, 2013 (Act 864) and CST(Amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1025). It is paid by consumers to the communications service providers, who in turn pay all CST collected to the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority on a monthly basis. The GRA is required under the law, to pay the CST collected into the Consolidated Fund.

Click HERE to File and Pay your CST

Rate of the Tax

CST is charged at a rate of 5%. 

Act 1025, specifically reduced the rate of the tax from 9% to 5%. This was announced by the President as an additional measure to alleviate the hardships caused by the pandemic. 

The rate took effect from 15th September, 2020. 

 

Businesses that qualify to charge CST

CST is charged only by electronic communications service providers who are in the provision of electronic communications classified by the National Communications Authority under the provisions of the National Communications Regulations 2003 (LI 1719) and notified in writing by the Commissioner-General of the GRA to charge the tax.

These businesses include:

  • National fixed network and mobile cellular network operators
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
  • Public/Corporate Data Operators
  • Providers of Radio (FM) broadcasting services
  • Providers of Free-on-air and Pay-per-view television services
  • Free zones Enterprises
  • Recipients of electronic communications services from Non-resident persons.

An electronic communications service provider is required to levy CST on all charges for usage of communications services provided, in accordance with the provisions of the Communications Service Tax Act 2008 (Act 754). It is unlawful for any individual to charge the CST.

Services Classified as Electronic Communications Service

Electronic communications service includes,
  • A service providing electronic communication
  • A closed user group service
  • A private electronic communication service
  • A public electronic communication service
  • A radio communication service
  • A value-added service

Benefits of the CST

At least 20% of the Revenue generated from the CST will be used by the government to finance the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) in particular and support the national development agenda of the country in general.

It must be noted that the introduction of the CST coincided with the removal of import duty, VAT and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) on the importation and sale of telephone sets including mobile or cellular phones and satellite phones. This has the effect of reducing the cost of telephone sets and generally mitigating the tax burden that may result from the introduction of the CST.

Prepaid Recharge Cards

An electronic communication service provider is required to account for CST on the face-value of prepaid recharge cards sold within the accounting period. The consumer thus pays the tax at the time of purchase of prepaid recharge cards.

Free Zone Operations

A Free Zone Enterprise which provides electronic communication services  is required to charge CST on all communication services provided to consumers within the domestic economy and account for the tax to the Commissioner-General of the GRA. All such Free Zone Enterprises are required to submit monthly CST returns in accordance with the provisions of the Communication Service Act 2008, (Act 754).

Relevant CST downloads

click below to download a CST doc
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