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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Stakeholders Call For E-Levy Review

Nana Akua Anyidoho

 

The government has been urged to focus on effective revenue production and equitable distribution within the country’s larger tax framework instead of burdening consumers.

Stakeholders at a tax forum organised by the International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in Accra made the call. It was themed, “Taxing Mobile Money-Lessons and Ways Forward.”

Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Nana Akua Anyidoho, criticised the e-levy’s rushed implementation, calling it relapsing.

According to her, “Governments may think they understand the evidence and reasons, but the performance of mobile money taxation tells a different story. Tax receipts consistently fall below projections, indicating that there’s still much to learn about utilizing this tool for effective tax mobilization. Additionally, the vast size of the growing digital finance ecosystem in many African countries can be both a boon and a challenge. While governments may see it as low-hanging fruit for taxation, there can be significant trade-offs involved -e.g. in financial inclusion and transition to cash-lite economy.”

Head of the Ghana Revenue Authority’s project management unit, Isaac Kwabena Amoako, also stressed on the need for governments to prioritise research and cultivate partnerships with all stakeholders in order to successfully influence policy formulation.

“This is mainly to help us undertake joint research activities, and also promote and support the GRA’s research capacity to improve tax revenue mobilization in an effective and equitable manner. I must confirm that since the signing of the MOU, ICTD has been very helpful to GRA,” he noted.

Mr. Amoako indicated that the implementation of the e-levy has not hindered efforts to enhance financial inclusion acknowledging that the rollout of the policy faced challenges thereby failing to meet its target.

He averred that through collaborative efforts, behavioral attitudes toward the e-levy could be changed to meet its revenue target.

By Samuel Boadi

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