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Implementing E-levy amounts to double taxation – Duffuor to government

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Former Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor has said the Akufo-Addo government’s proposed 1.75 per cent E-levy in the 2022 budget will amount to double taxation if passed.

At a lecture on the theme: ‘The Ghanaian Dream; Transforming the economy through job creation and opportunities for all’ held at the Tang Palace on Monday, 29 November 2021, the former Governor of the Bank of Ghana said: “Taxes/levies are imposed on incomes/gifts, consumption, and held properties or assets”.

“Taxes/levies are imposed on incomes/gifts, consumption, and held properties or assets. Electronic transfers/payments are none of these. An electronic transfer usually represents a mode of payment or settlement. And indeed, modes of payment should not attract taxes/levies.”

“This is because taxing modes of payment could lead to instantaneous double taxation, since the underlying income– the commodity– would have normally been taxed already. This makes the proposed E-Levy problematic because it could be fraught with serious implementation challenges. This tax could undermine the Ghanaian digital economy, which the Vice President has been working on all these years.”

In his view, the government can rather mobilise so much revenue from the extractive industry.

“There is so much additional revenue that can be generated from the extractive sector, which is currently being left in the hands of private investors”.

“We are not asking for confiscation; we are asking for partnership as it is being done in Botswana and Nigeria.”

The incumbent Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta while delivering the 2022 budget proposed that a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions effective January 1, 2022.

However, a section of Ghanaians including the Minority in Parliament and some economists have kicked against this proposal.

Dr. Duffuor used the lecture, which also focused on job creation, to suggest key measures that can be adopted by government to bridge the gap.

According to him, the government must invest in Technical and Vocational Education (TVET).

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