Make taxes convenient to pay

Just yesterday, the implementation of the revised Electronic Trans­fer Levy (E-Levy) rate of one per cent took effect following a directive from the Ghana Revenue Authority based on the Electronic Transfer Levy (Amendment) Act, 2022 (Act 1089).

The daily GH¢100 thresh­old without any charges also remains unchanged after attempts by the government to scrap it.

In 2021, the government introduced the E-Levy as a tax to be paid by the orig­inator of a transaction on electronic platforms such as fintech, online banking and mobile money (MoMo).

Specifically, the E-Levy applies to mobile mon­ey transfers on the same electronic money issuer or network; transfers from a different issuer to another one; transfers from bank accounts to MoMo accounts; transfers from MoMo ac­counts to bank accounts; and bank transfers on instant pay digital platform.

The E-Levy bill was ap­proved by parliament designated as Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075) on March 29, 2022 and President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Ad­do signed it into law on March 31, 2022 and took effect on May 1, 2022.

Since the country is a place where majority of the people avoid the pay­ment of tax, the E-Levy came in as a net to capture more taxpayers, especially through the MoMo trans­action, which had been embraced by majority of the public, particularly the unbanked.

This is a tax or levy which has suffered more controversies than any other in the country.

For instance, its value of 1.75 per cent on a MoMo transaction beyond GHc100 a day on MoMo transfers became a long-fought issue.

Eventually, the value was revised to 1.5 per cent on the day of passing the levy on March 29, 2022.

The Minority boycot­ted the passing of the tax because they did not approve of it, explaining among other reasons that it would over-burden the already suffering masses.

They, therefore headed for the Supreme Court on March 31, last year to challenge it, stating that the passage of the levy was illegal because parlia­ment lacked the required number at the time it did it, but lost the case.

Even some network operators waded into the controversy about the 1.5 per cent charge by the government in a subtle manner by either waiving their own service charges or reducing them.

With the implementa­tion of the revised one per cent tax and the resto­ration of the GH¢100 thresh­old without charges, we hope issues of E-Levy would be put to rest for the government, the opposition and other major stakeholders to help in en­suring that the E-Levy would bring in the expected revenue.

The country is in the straits and would need not only external assistance, but also enough internally-generated revenue to free itself.

We know one tax source cannot help achieve that, which is why all possible reve­nue sources must be explored.

However, the E-Levy con­troversy must inform deci­sions on future taxes and even current ones experiencing simmering agitations.

Taxes must not inconve­nience the payers but must rather encourage them to want to pay them cheerfully.

To achieve this state of affairs the size of the tax must be reasonable, corruption in the public place must be reduced and physical develop­ment spread across the coun­try

Show More
Back to top button