President assents to E-Levy Act …new tax expected to take off in May

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assented to the Electronic Levy Act which seeks to impose a 1.5 per cent tax on electronic transactions in the country.

The President appended his signature to the Act, which takes full effect in May, at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.

The tax will be administered by the Ghana Revenue Authority and collected through licensed banks, specialised deposit-taking institutions, payment service providers and electronic money issuers.

The tax, according to government communicators, is expected to help increase domestic tax mobilisation due to Ghana’s low tax-per-GDP ratio compared to other countries.

It is also expected to provide opportunity for every Ghanaian to contribute towards nation building to reduce government’s dependence on borrowing.

Proceeds from the tax will target the inadequate and poor physical and digital infrastructure, especially roads.

The E-Levy, when fully operational, will be charged on the amount of transfer above GH¢100 a day cumulative transfer, meaning that transactions below GH¢100 a day will not be charged.

Electronic transactions that attract the levy include mobile money transactions, payment service providers such as e-transact, banks, and specialised deposit taking institutions.

This means transfers on the same mobile money network, transfers from one mobile money network to another network, transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts, and transfers from mobile money accounts to bank accounts will attract a levy.

The levy will also be charged on transfers on a digital platform or application which originates from a bank account to another person’s bank account.

However, transactions between accounts owned by the same person and payments of taxes, fees and charges made to a Ministry, Department or Agency (MDA) or Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies using the Ghana.gov platform would not attract the levy.

Also, clearing of cheques by the banks and specialised deposit taking institutions such as savings and loans companies are excluded from the levy.

To avoid charging the levy multiple times, transfers that pass through multiple service providers before they get to the actual recipient will not attract the levy.

Utility and airtime payments made from a mobile money account, bank account or through a merchant payment platform and exceed the GH¢100 daily threshold will attract the levy.

On the payment of salaries using mobile money, companies registered with GRA for income tax or VAT salary payments made from corporate bank accounts will not attract the levy.

BY YAW KYEI

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