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Tech experts divided over introduction of e-levy

The introduction of the 1.75 percent E-Levy continues to generate a lot of conversations, especially among technology enthusiasts.

While many Ghanaians are still calling for a complete reversal of the 1.75% tax on electronic transactions as announced in the 2022 budget, others are in full support of the government’s plan to introduce the e-levy.

The debate came up strongly at this year’s Ghana Internet Conference organized by the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA).

Whereas people like the CEO of Afrifanom formerly known as Vokacom Company Limited, Nana Osei Kwasi Afrifa, justified the need for the tax, others like the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Ken Ashigbey opposed it.

Nana Osei Kwasi Afrifa was of the opinion that Ghanaians need to be fair to the government following the amount of money gained from MoMo transactions.

“The value of MoMo transactions is more than triple the value of all other payments put together. How can we not want it taxed? Analysing the data on MoMo transactions from various fintechs shows that 84 percent of all daily MoMo transactions are less than GHS100 and then when you blend it all, we’re talking about 40 percent. The data has pointed to it. The tax makes sense. The percentage makes sense.”

Dr. Ken Ashigbey on the other hand was of the view that even if the proposed levy is not entirely scraped, the rate should be reduced to 0.25 percent to enhance compliance and not cause disaffection for electronic businesses.

“The 1.75 percent is on the high side. We need to start this in a penetrative way so that a lot more people will be interested in paying. So we’re proposing a 0.25 percent or 0.5 percent tax. And then the tax shouldn’t be limited to mobile money only. It should be extended to the banks as well.”

This year’s Ghana Internet Conference, under the theme, ‘Ghana’s data space, localization, protection and economization’, was organized to highlight ways by which Ghana’s data space can be harnessed.

The event was hosted by the Academic City University College on Thursday, November 25, 2021.

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