E-Levy will plug revenue loopholes, says deputy finance minister

On Wednesday the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the E-Levy, a 1.75% tax on electronic transactions, including mobile money

The introduction of the E-Levy in the 2022 Budget will help plug Ghana’s revenue loopholes, the deputy finance minister Abena Osei Asare has said.

Presenting next year’s Budget to Parliament on Wednesday (17 November), the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the E-Levy, a 1.75% tax on electronic transactions in Ghana above a certain threshold, as a measure to “rope the informal sector into the tax net”.

Some experts have warned that the new levy is “regressive” and could affect the government’s quest to deepen financial inclusion.


However, speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (18 November), Asare disagreed.

“In every country, citizens pay taxes but what you do is that you make the taxes progressive, such that those who earn more feel the burden of the tax more than those who earn less,” Osei Asare told Nana Yaa Mensah, co-host of The Asaase Breakfast Show.

“That is why, in this electronic transaction levy that we are coming out with, those who do GHC100 cumulatively every day are exempted from paying the levy,” she said.

“We did a study and realised that over close to 42% of people who do MoMo [mobile money] transactions every day [worth] between GHC1 and GHC100 are about 42% [of the market].

“So clearly, the government is thinking about those people and saying that, for those people, they are exempted from the E-Levy.

“But for those of us who do more than GHC100 every day, it’s a progressive tax. It is for the good of this nation that we all raise the necessary taxes and be able to fund the government’s flagship programmes,” she said.

Osei Asare said the introduction of the E-Levy is strategic.

“Many a time, people talk about raising tax revenues: how do you formalise the economy? And we have realised [there is] a niche in electronic transactions.

“According to UNECA [the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa], the digital economy has grown from $11.5 trillion in 2016 and is going to $23 trillion. We also want to take advantage of it.”

Watch the full interview here.


The government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions above the value of a daily cumulative GHC100 to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%,” Ofori-Atta told the House, “which shall be borne by the sender except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

“This new policy comes into effect from 1 February 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.”

As of January 2021, 38.9% of the population aged 15 and above had a mobile money account in Ghana.

The population share of mobile money users increased over the previous three years but decreased slightly in 2021 from 39% in 2020.

Share of population with a mobile money account in Ghana (2018 to 2021)

Fred Dzakpata

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