A survey report released by IMANI Centre for Policy and Education in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has revealed that most Ghanains are paying E-Levy on personal transactions despite Government’s claim that the Tax was targeted at the unbanked population who were doing business without paying tax, hence widening the tax net.
According to the report, a majority (55.3%) of the respondents indicated that they used their digital financial services account for Personal Purposes such as paying medical bills, school fees, ordering food, and sending money to family, among others.
This is followed by Business Transactions (32.8%) such as payment for goods and services, and lastly, Payment for Government Services (9.4%), such as payment of taxes to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), passport, and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA), among others.
What is interesting to note here is that the ratio of personal use to the combined business transactions is almost 2:1 for the sample population.
Prior to the passing of the Elevy into Law, the opposition NDC and civil society organisations in Ghana had resisted the passing of the bill into law, on the grounds that it was going to put more pressure on the ordinary Ghanaians who were already overburdened with the increasing cost of living as a result of constant increases on goods and services including fuel, food, utilities, etc.
Some had argued that the Government was going to tax the incomes of people who had already paid their taxes at source, and therefore will result in multiple taxing on the ordinary Ghanaian worker.
The report also reveals an overwhelming majority of respondents (85.9% or 9 in ten respondents) indicated they were strongly against or somewhat not in support of the e-levy. Another 13% either strongly supported or somewhat supported the e-levy, while 1.1% remained undecided.
The main reasons for such support were to allow the government to collect more revenues for development purposes (38.9%) and to include those in
the informal sector of the economy in paying their fair share of taxes (widening the tax base; 54.2%). This view has also been shared in various official policy communications regarding the e-levy.