Mobile money fees should be taxed – Ursula Owusu [ARTICLE]

She said this would help salvage the telecommunication sector’s declining traditional revenue streams.

Answering questions posed by Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said GH¢81.3 billion was generated from 344.6 million mobile money transactions made in January 2021 alone.

She noted that data from the Common Platform, which monitors mobile money transactions, indicates that 44.6 million transactions generated GH¢124.5 million in non-taxed transaction fees.

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Minister-designate for Communication and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Minister-designate for Communication and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

“In my opinion, the transaction fees generated by operators from this huge traffic and volumes of mobile money platforms ought to be taxed,” she said, as quoted by the Goldstreet Business.

“That is my personal opinion and I have said so on several platforms.”

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained that her suggestion does not mean consumers of mobile money should be taxed.

Instead, she said, the revenue earned by the telecommunication companies from the transaction charges on sending and receiving monies, is what must be taxed.

“The fee, which they (consumers) pay to all the network operators for this service, is revenue that they earn and the state has to be interested in that, and has to tax them,” she explained.

“I have been further informed that some of them are even facing out the sale of scratch cards and insisting on top-ups from mobile money.”

The Minister-designate for Communication added: “This will not be a tax against users of mobile money because the telecommunication companies are already charging consumers for the use of this service and that is 1%. That revenue that they are getting from the transaction fees, I believe the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Minister of Finance ought to be interested in that.

“As I indicated earlier, GH¢124.5 million in January alone in transaction fees for mobile money was a huge amount (going as untaxed revenue for the operators). If even the state is getting 10% per month that is GH¢12.4 million per month; that is significant.”

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