Expats moving to Ghana will find that financial matters in this West African destination aren't as overly complicated as one might initially expect. Banking in Ghana is very easy once new arrivals have opened an account, and tax laws are straightforward.
Money in Ghana
The Ghanaian currency is the Cedi (GHS) and is divided into 100 pesewas (Gp).
Notes: 1 GHS, 2 GHS, 5 GHS, 10 GHS, 20 GHS, 50 GHS, 100 GHS and 200 GHS
Coins: 1Gp, 5Gp, 10Gp, 20Gp, 50Gp, 1 GHS and 2 GHS
Banking in Ghana
All banks in Ghana do business in English, as this is the official language of the country. Barclays Bank, Standard Chartered and Stanbic are all international banks that are represented in Ghana and are recommended for expats. Internet, telephone and cellphone banking are also available as banks strive to compete locally and internationally, and provide support and services online.
Banking hours in Ghana are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 4.30 or 5pm, although some banks close earlier on Fridays and others are open on Saturday till 12pm.
Opening a bank account
The best way to access and deal with money in Ghana is to open up a bank account. To open a bank account in Ghana, most establishments require that expats show their passport as identification. Necessary documents vary across banks. Some may require expats to submit a letter of introduction from a bank in their home country and a reference from their employer in Ghana as well as proof of residence.
Credit cards and ATMs
ATMs are readily available in Ghanaian cities and most international credit cards are accepted at these machines. Ghana is a predominantly cash-based society, however, and the prevalence of credit card fraud makes it unwise to use cards too liberally. Credit card and ATM facilities are also quite rare in rural areas of Ghana.
Taxes in Ghana
Foreigners living in Ghana for 183 days or more over 12 months are considered residents of the country and must pay taxes based on their worldwide income. Taxes in Ghana are charged on a graduated scale while non-residents are charged a flat rate on their income derived from within the country.
Ghana has double-taxation agreements with a number of other countries, including South Africa, Italy, and the United Kingdom. In such cases, expats may be entitled to tax relief.
Expats should refer to the Ghana Revenue Authority website and consult a financial adviser and tax specialist to ensure that they have a full understanding of taxes in Ghana.