MTN GHANA has stated that introducing new taxes on its mobile money service will have adverse effects on financial inclusion in the country.
General Manager of MTN Mobile Financial Services, Eli Hini, made this known at a stakeholders’ conference on Wednesday in Accra, as part of the celebration of MTN MoMo @ 10. The conference was themed: “The role of regulation in sustaining the growth in the mobile financial service in Ghana”.
According to him, there were already taxes and related fees on mobile money transactions. He, therefore, observed that anything aside from the existing ones was an additional tax to the consumer.
He advised government to look at how to use mobile money as a tool to expand the tax net instead of considering additional taxes on it.
According to him, “If we can digitize tax payment through the platform, then we can rather use the mobile money to expand the tax net and collect taxes from many more Ghanaians. In this case, we have data and information on them that can provide enough guidance and information.” He argued that taxation would deepen the poverty gap.
According to him, “In Ghana, about 25 % of the population is below the poverty line; the negative impact of taxing mobile money transactions is likely to fall most heavily on these individuals. Imposing taxes may increase the percentage within the poverty bracket.”
Director of Research at Bank of Ghana (BoG), Philip Abradu-Otoo, in his presentation, said the BoG takes cognizance of the issues raised at the forum.
Mr. Abradu-Otoo assured the gathering that he would channel all concerns raised including taxation, transactional limit and fraud to the appropriate departments to be incorporated into the current policy framework being worked on.
He thanked MTN for its contribution to the growth of Ghana’s economy and pledged government’s partnership with the private sector to fight poverty. He noted that government is moving from taxation to production to ensure private sector growth.
The MTN MoMo Service is delivered in partnership with over 20 banks offering customers a wide range of services including payment of bills, airtime top-ups, insurance and employee salaries.
As of March 2019, MTN MoMo served over 11 million subscribers across the country.
Y Melvin Tarlue & Donny Morrison