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Deputy Minister of Finance, Hon. John Kumah clarifies misinformation about the proposed E-levy

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Ghana’s finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the government intends to introduce an electronic transaction levy (e-levy) in the 2022 budget. The initial response to the announcement of the levy has been one of displeasure and fears but Deputy Minister, Hon. John Kumah has clarified some misinformation about the levy.

The proposed levy, which will come into effect on 1st February 2022, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances.

Addressing concerns of Ghanaians about the e-levy in an engagement with some bloggers and influencers at a meeting yesterday, Hon. John Kumah asserted that the introduction of the e-levy was not to rip Ghanaians of their hard-earned money but to generate internal revenue to improve development in the country. To support this claim, he revealed that government cleared and reduced 5 existing levies including the toll booth levy to reduce the taxes citizens pay.

Below are three corrections to pieces of misinformation about the proposed e-levy offered by the Deputy Finance Minister.

  1. THE E-LEVY IS NOT APPLICABLE TO ALL MOBILE MONEY TRANSFERS

The majority of Ghanaians resort to mobile money transfers because it is the most efficient and cost-effective means of transferring money and is widely accessible in Ghana. Hence, mobile money transfer was the first and major concern of Ghanaians in regards to the proposed e-levy. However, NOT ALL MOBILE MONEY TRANSFERS will be taxed under the e-levy.

The levy will cover the following;

Mobile Money Transfers: sending money from your wallet to another person’s wallet or bank account using mobile money;

Bank to Mobile Money Transfers: Transfers from a bank account to another person’s mobile money account

Mobile Money Merchant Payments: when you pay for a service or a product from a merchant using your mobile money account;

The levy will NOT cover the following;

Daily Free Limit: Every person will be able to send up to GHS100 / day without payment of the levy. For example, if Kofi sends GHS 50 to his sister in the morning and sends another GHS 50 (GHS 100 in total) to his brother in the afternoon, he will not pay the E-levy. However, any other payment on the day after this threshold will attract the e-levy.

Transfers between your own accounts: If you are moving money between your own mobile money accounts you will not be charged the E-LEVY. For example, If you transfer money from your registered mobile money account with MTN to your Vodafone Cash bearing the same name, the e-levy will not be charged on the transfer.

Cash deposits: Depositing money into one’s personal mobile money account will not be charged with the e-levy. For example, if you deposit 1,000gh through a mobile money agent into your account, no e-levy charge will be taken and you will receive 1,000gh in your account.

  1. THE E-LEVY IS NOT APPLICABLE TO BANK TRANSFERS AND CHEQUES

Although the E-levy will be applied to the originator of a transaction on an electronic payment platform like online banking, it only covers payments for goods and or services using bank payments, Debit/Credit Card or alternative bank payment channels.

The levy will not be applied to Bank transfers and cheques from one bank account to another.

Similarly, money transfers between one’s own account in different banks will not be taxed. For example, by transferring money from one’s Fidelity bank account to his/her Stanbic Bank account, the e-levy will not be applied to the amount transferred.

  1. ONLY THE RECEIVER OF AN INWARD REMITTANCE WILL BE CHARGED THE E-LEVY

An inward remittance is a money sent from a foreign country and received by the payee into their bank account. Under the new proposed e-levy, the remitter who sends money to the recipient’s bank account will NOT be charged. Only the beneficiary of the internal remittance will be charged 1.75% on the value of the amount received.

Although the e-levy is yet to be approved in parliament, Deputy-Minister Finance, John Kumah assured that Finance ministry is in constant discussions with key stakeholders and is taking into consideration the concerns of Ghanaians to make necessary changes to the levy before it passed.

He also affirmed that the e-levy will be efficiently collected by the government through the Ghana Revenue Authority in collaboration with the Telcos, Fintechs and Financial Institutions.

On how issues and challenges about the levy will be addressed, Hon. John Kumah said a 24-hour service center will be set up to help individuals who might be experience challenges and call lines will be announced soon.

Watch Hon. John Kumah speaks on the benefits of the E-levy below.

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