Vice President of IMANI AFRICA, Mr. Bright Simons has described the E-levy as arbitrary and not an innovative tax which has the tendency of reducing the number of people trying to join the digital economy. The vice president made this known at the seminar series organized by the Business School of Wisconsin International University College, Ghana on the topic “Is E-Levy the Answer to Ghana’s Accelerated Development?
Mr. Bright Simons also indicated that apart from Zimbabwe, Ghana has the highest charges in terms of electronic charges. “We are going to see a lot of challenges with tax administration as well as auditing issues with transactions, especially with exemptions. The Ghana Revenue Authority will have a lot of challenges with Fintechs adding that people have not properly thought through the cumulative effect of this tax”.
The other speaker on the day, tax expert and director of law firm Ali Nakyea and Associate, Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea bemoaned the lack of proper engagements before the introduction of the e-levy despite government’s supposed town hall meetings saying “consultations were not done properly………the town halls meetings organized were just to inform people on the tax”.
Dr. Ali Nakyea also expressed concerns about the unemployment the introduction of this tax will create. ”A good tax should not distort an economy the jobs of the over 440,000 people employed in the mobile money industry are at risk” he added.
On the way forward after the passage of the e-levy in the face of widespread opposition, Dr. Ali Nakyea said the country’s loss of $3bn through corruption while the government hopes to raise $1bn is an indication the government has lost the plot, saying the government will have to tackle corruption if it needs to shore up revenue.
Mr. Bright Simons in his closing remarks also added that the timing for the introduction of the tax was bad arguing there will be an “inflation effect” on the tax
since people will be compelled to increase their margins by transferring costs to the final consumer.
The event was attended by lecturers, students, and Heads of departments of the University is part of the annual school and faculty seminar series organized by WIUC-GH.