The Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu Ekuful has argued that it will be appropriate for the government to tax the transaction fees mobile money companies charge when they conduct mobile money transactions.
Addressing the press in Accra on the performance of the Common Monitoring Platform operated by KelniGVG, the Communications Minister said mobile money companies earn on average GH¢71 million monthly as transaction fees adding that particular income “ought” to be taxed.
“Further breakdowns of transaction types for informed policy-making decisions are also possible with the platform… of particular interest to me and this is where the Finance Minister and I diverge, because I think that the GHS71 million which is generated by the operators in transaction fees they ought to pay taxes on that revenue to the state; we are still having conversations about that,” the Minister stated.
Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful’s remarks come after the government in the 2019 mid-year budget review increased the communication service tax by more than 50 percent. The implementation of the increment has led to the mobile network operators coming to a head-on collision with the government.
The MNOs had initially insisted on deducting CST upfront on customers’ airtime recharge while the government had argued that was disingenuous considering that was not the treatment of the CST prior to the increase.
The total value of mobile money transactions for the first six months of this year reached 140.2 billion cedis, up from the 104.6 billion cedis recorded in the same period in 2018.
Data released by the Bank of Ghana shows that this represents a 34 percent rise in the value of transactions recorded for the period under review.
Meanwhile, the patronage of cheques for the first half of this year witnessed a drop compared to the same period last year.
Between January and June this year, the total volume of mobile money transactions reached 915.8 million compared to the 655 million recorded in the same period last year.
This translates into an estimated forty percent growth.
Again, the total value of mobile money transactions increased by 34 percent to reach 140.2 billion cedis; up from the 104.6 billion cedis recorded in the same period in 2018.