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Electronic Transaction Levy: Stakeholders Push For Remodelling To Ensure Full Compliance

Stakeholders across various sectors of the local economy are calling for a relook at the electronic transaction levy. They argue that instead of overburdening consumers, efforts should be focused on efficient revenue generation and equitable distribution within the broader tax net.

The government introduced the e-levy in May 2022 as part of measures to increase revenue. Unlike traditional tax instruments with decades of data, mobile money taxation is a new regime with limited data, evidence and literature.

Speaking to press on the sidelines of a tax forum organized by the International Centre for Tax and Development and the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Director of the Center for Social Policy Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Nana Akua Anyidoho criticized the hasty implementation of the e-levy, describing it as regressive.

According to her, the evasion of e-levies by the affluent class, facilitated by transactions through their bank accounts, has exacerbated disparities in taxation. In contrast, low earners, predominantly representing the informal economy, bear the brunt of the levy burden due to their lack of access to banking services. Recent data reveals that the government garnered a mere 1% from high earners, while low earners contributed 7% to the levy pool.

This stark contrast underscores the urgent need for the government to devise equitable strategies to broaden the tax base, alleviating the disproportionate burden on the already struggling informal sector, particularly in the wake of the post-COVID crisis.

For his part, Mr. Isaac Kobina Amoako, Head of the Project Management Unit at the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), acknowledged the challenges encountered in enforcing these levies. He emphasized that some individuals employ various tactics to evade payment, posing significant hurdles to tax collection efforts.
However, he assured the public that the authority is actively working to address these challenges by implementing stringent measures, including the imposition of hefty fines, as relying solely on technological solutions proves insufficient.

Source: Peacefmonline.com

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