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E-Levy implementation commences May 1 - GRA

BY: GraphicOnline
Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah
Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah

The implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy Act 2022 (Act 1075) which imposes a 1.5 per cent tax on all electronic transactions and money transfers will commence on May 1, 2022, the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah has announced

A public notice issued by the GRA said following the passage of Act 1075, implementation of the levy will commence on May 1.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assented the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill (E-Levy) Bill into law just before the start of the Cabinet meeting at the Jubilee House in Accra on March 31.

Parliament had approved the bill on March 29, 2022, after the Minority had walked out in protest.

The bill initially imposed a 1.75 per cent tax on all electronic transactions and money transfers, but the rate was reduced to 1.5 per cent before its passage.

Background

The bill, which was first laid before Parliament by the Minister of Finance on November 17, last year, had to be withdrawn because the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament felt that the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding as Speaker, committed an error when he vacated his chair to cast a vote to approve the bill.

That led to a melee and some exchanges, including fisticuffs, on the floor of Parliament, leading to the abrupt adjournment of the House for the Christmas holidays.

Subsequently, the Minister of Finance conducted a series of public consultations, mainly in the regional capitals, to solicit support for the levy, seen as a new major revenue stream for the government.

While consultations were going on, a citizen of Ghana went to the Supreme Court to seek interpretation as to whether a Deputy Speaker presiding over proceedings of the House could cast a vote, to which the Apex Court ruled in the affirmative.

During the lull, there were suggestions that the government should opt for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to achieve policy credibility to create fiscal space for it to borrow to fund its development programmes.

But the government insisted that it was capable of resolving the challenges from within, a position premised on the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

The Levy applies to the following transfers:

Mobile money transfers done between accounts on the same electronic money issuer

Mobile money transfers from an account on one electronic money issuer to a recipient on another electronic money issuer

Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts

Transfers from mobile money accounts to bank accounts

Bank transfers on an instant pay digital platform or application originating from a bank account belonging to an individual subject to a daily threshold to be determined by the Minister of Finance.

The Charging Entities are:

Electronic Money Issuers

Payment Service Providers

Banks

Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions

Other Financial Institutions prescribed by Regulations made under the Act.