Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, says the government is not willing to scrap the e-levy.
According to him, taking into consideration the rapid digitalization of the country’s economy, the e-levy has become an important tax handle to capture all Ghanaians to contribute to the development of the country.
Even though he admits the e-levy has woefully failed to meet projected revenue targets in the months since its passage, he intimated that the government will be working earnestly to revise exemptions and block all leakages in order to realize the policy’s full potential.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “The issue of the challenges we’ve had with E-levy is going to be important as we assess it and find ways of eliminating the leakages and exemptions that we have. And we’ll do that during this coming time.
“We expected to raise some 600 million cedis a month or so and we have barely 10% of that, given the exemptions that we gave and the leakages that we have seen. So that will be investigated and we should be able to plug those holes and that will be helpful.
“I think you’re right, it’s a no-no. We have to pursue it because it’s an important tax handle that will enable all of us to contribute in one fell swoop, and has the capacity of a compliance once the leakages and exemptions are taken care of.”
He noted that the shortfall experienced with the e-levy has fortunately been muted by oil revenues. However, he’s hopeful following the assessment and revision of the policy, the e-levy will be able to raise expected revenues.
“We’ve gotten lucky in a sense with regards to oil revenues. That will be another 6billion and that will be helpful for us to mute the loss in revenues from e-levy.But e-levy remains an important platform because the country is going much more e-commerce than it had ever been and that will continue.
“I think we had about a trillion cedis worth of transaction by the end of last year and we think that’s going to accelerate. I think it gives us a chance for all of us to contribute to this Ghana Beyond Aid vision,” he said.
“George no one likes to pay taxes, and when it comes to a tax system that you may not be able to dodge or avoid it becomes a little intimidating or you might feel it as the coerciveness of the state, but truly the country has to be run with taxes.
“What are the important tax handles that you can have? And I believe that the e-levy is one of them. Going forward the country is going to be digitalized, use of currency is going to be minimized over time, so this is what will capture all of us in a bucket in which we can then develop and transform our country,” he said.