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The E-Levy Brouhaha:These Comments Are Unacceptable

The battle for the approval of the controversial Electronic Levy ( E-Levy) Bill is still on in Ghana; whiles the Majority caucus in Parliament are doing everything possible to approve it, the Minority caucus is also fiercely resisting the approval. 


The proposed Electronic Transaction tax; which will come into effect on 1st February 2022, when approved, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. The levy covers electronic transaction like mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances.


Although the e-levy is yet to be approved in parliament, currently on the TVs, radio stations and the various social media platforms, there many misinformation or misleading comments from some Ghanaians concerning the tax.


In attempts to convince Ghanaians into accepting the e-levy, some communicators of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), have also been heard on some media stations and platform, making some untrue comments, to create the perception, that majority of Ghanaians are in favour of the electronic tax.


According to some communicators of the NPP, majority of Ghanaians are in favor of the E-levy, but they are being 'polluted' by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) into rejecting it.


Some were also heard making comments like: Ghanaians are not worried about about paying mobile money tax, but are rather afraid of how the tax will be put to right use and accountability.


The fact of the matter is, both perceptions created by these NPP communicators are wrong...nobody is 'polluting' the Ghanaian public against the E-levy; the ordinary Ghanaian is NOT just worried about the E-levy's usage and accountability, we are also rejecting the tax in its entirety.


Another fact is...Ghanaians are already burdened with many taxes; and so the excuse; that government has cleared and reduced 5 existing levies, including the toll booth levy, to reduce the burden on Ghanaians is unacceptable.


Ken Ofori-Atta the Finance Minister, during a press briefing, enlisted the following transactions, that will be affected by the electronic levy when passed in parliament: Mobile money transfers between accounts on the same electronic money issuer (EMI), Mobile money transfers from an account on one EMI to a recipient on another EMI, Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts, Transfer from mobile money accounts to bank accounts and Bank transfers on a digital platform or application which, originate from a bank account belonging to an individual to another individual.


According to him, the following transactions will NOT be affected by the 1.75% electronic tax: Cumulative transfers of GHC100 per day made by the same person, Transfers between accounts owned by the same person, Transfers for the payment of taxes, fees and charges on the Ghana.gov platform, Electronic clearing of cheques, Specified merchant payments (that is, payments to commercial establishments, registered with the GRA for income tax and VAT purposes), and Transfers between principal, master agent and agent’s accounts.


In simple term, we dont want any e-levy...we dont want to pay any tax on mobile money transactions. The finance minister and the Majority caucus in Parliament should simply give-up.


What is your take...do you support the introduction of the Mobile Money Tax in Ghana?


Please share your views in the comment box below.


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