Controversial e-levy begins today

The controversial electronic transaction levy is starting today, May 1, 2022.
The Bill was passed by Parliament on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, despite a walkout by the minority group in the House.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assented to the bill into law.
The new levy will see a deduction of 1.5 per cent from selected electronic transactions. The rate will apply to transactions that are more than GHs100 daily.
The levy, according to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, would broaden the tax base of the country to enhance the government’s drive for revenue mobilization.
The e-levy is expected to fetch the government about GHs6.9billion this year.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a statement expressed readiness for the takeoff of the controversial levy after holding “several technical sessions and engagements with the various charging entities (Electronic Money Issuers, Banks, Payment Service Providers, and Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions) on the implementation.”
Before the commencement of the implementation of the e-levy, available data show that the mobile money platform lost about GH¢10billion in value between November 2021 and January 2022 – a development that raises serious concerns about the new tax’s ability to rake in the anticipated revenue.
According to the Summary of Economic and Financial data (March 2022) published by the Bank of Ghana, the mobile money platform which is the largest payment system network in the country – seen as the main driver of financial inclusion – saw its transaction value decline to GH¢76.2billion in January 2021 from the GH¢86.1billion recorded in November 2021 (the very month the E-levy was announced), indicating a drop of GH¢9.9billion. The platform has never seen such a colossal decline in value over the space of any two months within a year ever since it was introduced.
Besides the drop in value on the platform, the total number of transactions also went south as it saw a 24 million decline in January 2022 from November 2021. The number of active agents also saw a decline of 7,000 within the same period, while active mobile money accounts also decreased by 600,000 in the period under discussion.

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