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The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has signed into law the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill also known as the E-levy, two days after it was passed by parliament under controversial circumstances.

His action now paves the way for the implementation of the levy.

This comes barely a day after some three members of the Minority NDC in Parliament filed a suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the passage of the levy, insisting parliament did not have the numbers to pass it.

Parliament passed the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in the absence of the Minority MPs, who had walked out before the Bill was considered at the second reading stage.

The levy, which was amended from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, will be a tax on electronic transactions, which includes mobile-money payments.

The charge will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.

The levy has been the source of tension in Parliament since it was introduced in the 2022 budget.

Critics of the proposal have warned that this new levy will negatively impact the Fintech space, as well as hurt low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector.

The tensions culminated in a scuffle between lawmakers in Parliament in December 2021.

The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net and that could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.

There are also concerns that the government may securitize proceeds from the e-levy to raise extra revenue.

Reacting to the news after its passage in Parliament, the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana, says most of its members may shut down their mobile money businesses following the passage of the 1.5% Electronic Transfer Levy.

“We may be tempted to withdraw our services because the service already is not all that lucrative,” the General Secretary for the association, Evans Otumfour said.

“A lot of our people will definitely be out of business… when the policy was announced, there was a sharp decline or drop in the use of mobile money,” he added.

Transactions E-Levy will cover

  • Mobile money transfers between accounts on the same electronic money issuer (EMI)
  • Mobile money transfers from an account on one EMI to a recipient on another EMI
  • Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts
  • Transfer from mobile money accounts to bank accounts
  • Bank transfers on a digital platform or application which originate from a bank account belonging to an individual to another individual

Transactions E-Levy will NOT cover

The Finance Ministry has also highlighted some scenarios where the E-Levy will not apply. They are;

  • Cumulative transfers of GHC100 per day made by the same person
  • Transfers between accounts owned by the same person
  • Transfers for the payment of taxes, fees, and charges on the Ghana.gov platform
  • Electronic clearing of cheques
  • Specified merchant payments (that is, payments to commercial establishments registered with the GRA for income tax and VAT purposes)
  • Transfers between the principal, master agent, and agent’s accounts
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