E-levy will aid digitization drive – KsTU Lecturer
The long contested tax on electronic transactions, E-levy, which has been passed by Parliament will aid digitization drive in Ghana, a senior lecturer of the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU), Edmond Oppong-Peprah has said.
While President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government claims the levy will help raise over 900 million dollars and address the problems of unemployment and high public debt, others are of the view that the levy is counter-productive to government’s digitization drive.
However, Edmond Oppong-Peprah is optimistic the passage will aid digitization. In an interview with Purefmonline.com on Monday, April 4, 2022, he said,
”As a finance and entrepreneurship lecturer, I’m much enthused about the passage of the levy, this is because the proceeds added to local tax revenue will make up at least 16% of our tax to GDP ratio. The digitization and cyber security should be of concern to us as a country and that is stated in the areas the levy will be devoted to. Ghanaians are demanding roads and infrastructure, which is one major area that needs urgent attention and the levy will address such challenges.
”Government must also find a formula for sharing proceeds of the levy in percentage terms. Proceeds must. not be added to the consolidated fund”, he added.
Edmond Oppong-Peprah who has declared intentions to contest National Vice Chairman position of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) internal elections this year said despite the backlash and ‘propaganda’ which was met with the passage, he strongly believes this is the best thing ever to happen to country that do not want to resort to loans.
”Regardless of how we perceive this levy, returning to International Monetary Fund(IMF) is not an option. Ghana has come far to go back to dark days. The passage will not elicit behaviors that can undermine the cash-lite system and digitization drive of the economy. This is a good step. Let us embrace it, he stressed.
According to Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, the new electronic transaction tax will help the country raise millions of dollars in revenue as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digitalization which has resulted to more than 120% increase in the value of digital transactions in the country as of February 2021.
However, this was not well received by some citizens who felt that the country was hard enough due to the increasing cost of living and high fuel prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Ghana Revenue Authority has already issued guidelines for the implementation of the e-levy even before the bill was passed.
The new tax levy will be applicable on every mobile money payment, bank transfer, merchant payment, and inward remittances and will be borne by the originator of the transactions except in the case of inward remittance which the recipient would have to bear the cost.
Meanwhile, there is an exception for transactions up to GH¢100 ($16) per day.
Purefmonline.com| Ghana| 2022