Ghana passes e-levy bill at 1.5% tax levy amid controversy

Ghana has passed the electronic transfer levy (e-levy) bill which has been a subject of controversy in the last few months in the country.

The parliament passed the bill at a 1.5% tax levy (down from 1.75%) on the electronic transfer of money across various platforms after a walkout by the minority group who did not want the bill passed in the House.

The bill will become operational after it is assented to by the president.

Key points to note

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.

What this means

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.

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