Some stakeholders in the telecommunication sector have raised concerns that the increase in the communication service tax could thwart the government’s efforts to promote an economy less reliant on cash.
While speaking at the Second MOMO@10 Stakeholder Forum which is on the theme “the role of regulation in sustaining the growth of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) in Ghana, General Manager of MTN Mobile Money, Eli Hini called on the government to take a second look at the tax.
“We understand that taxes are important to develop our economies and it is important we place it in its proper context. We believe that if we don’t value this very well and we go-ahead to be given additional taxes of MFS it has an impact on other industries.
First of all, it has helped to promote and improve the formal sector because a lot of people are now reporting to the formal packing space by virtue of mobile money. So, now people now can interact with others because of mobile money. Mobile money is already taxed so additional taxes will not sit well for us,” he said.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in his mid-year budget announced that the communication service tax which is charged on mobile financial services has been increased from 6 percent to 9 percent.
Head of Research at the Bank of Ghana, Philip Otoo, however, assured that his outfit will take steps to enhance the mobile money system to ensure its full growth in the country.
“We are taking the necessary steps to enhance the regulatory environment as the system evolves to sustain the rapid growth of mobile financial services to foster positive outcomes of inclusiveness and growth. This is expected to be achieved through the operationalization of the payment systems and services Act of 2019 Act 987,” he said.