Telco Chamber Requests E-Levy Law Review

Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey

As Ghanaians anxiously anticipate the implementation of the Electronic Transaction Tax known more popularly as E-Levy from May 1 this year, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has called for a review of portions of the law to exclude salaries from being affected by the 1.5% charge on payments made via mobile money (MoMo).

According to the chamber, per provisions in the current law, salaries paid via mobile money would attract a 1.5% charge, whereas salaries paid through banks would attract no such charge.

The Telecommunications Chamber described such move as ‘discriminatory’.

In an interview with Citi Business News on Ghana’s preparation towards the implementation of the levy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey said it is important that all key challenges are looked at.

“Some of the challenges we have seen with the law, as has been passed, which we hope to take up, are a few discriminatory elements within what’s happening.

“For example, if your salary is paid from a bank account, it won’t attract the E-Levy, but if you are paid with mobile money, then it will attract the E-Levy. That definitely is not equitable and is discriminatory”, he stated.

“We hope that going forward, such issues will be addressed. We know that one of the elements of a good tax is that it should not be discriminatory, especially due to the channels that one uses.

“All of these are things we will be working on with government to ensure that the unintended consequences do not come and derail government’s own digitalization agenda that it has put up,” he added.

The E-Levy, which generated a lot of controversy since its announcement earlier this year, is a 1.5% tax on electronic transfers that include but not limited to mobile money transfers done between accounts on the same network; mobile money transfers from an account on one network to a recipient on another network; transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts; and transfers from mobile money accounts to bank accounts.

The charge will apply to electronic transfers that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.

By Nii Adjei Mensahfio