Recent economic data suggests that the overall tax to GDP for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in 2018 was 16.5%. The tax to GDP for Ghana in 2019 was estimated to be 12.2% with 2021 provisional estimate of 12.5%.
Ghana Revenue Authority data also indicates that, as at August 2021:
2.4 million individuals (approximately 8% of the total population) were registered as personal income taxpayers;
45,109 entities were registered as corporate taxpayers; and
54,364 persons were registered as self-employed taxpayers.
The Ghana Cares (Obaatanpa) Programme targets a tax to GDP ratio of 20% by 2024
Government has also set a target to reduce the budget deficit from an estimated 9.4% in 2021 to below 5%, in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982).
Between 2017 and 2021, mobile money transactions in Ghana increased from one hundred and fifty-five Billion Ghana Cedis to nine hundred and eighty-six billion Ghana Cedis. This shift from traditional to digital payments systems has supported growth in e-commerce, social media shopping and the use of digital payments.
These are largely untaxed, and while the industry grows, several government tax revenue sources such as VAT are experiencing a decline in growth.
The Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) introduced in the 2022 Budget Statement is an innovative way to capture revenues within this digital space.
Rationale for E-Levy
To enhance revenue mobilisation by broadening the tax base to include a large portion
To raise revenue to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, provision of digital infrastructure and cyber security, and provision of road infrastructure.
Increase Ghana’s tax-to-GDP
To help increase Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio from approximately 12.5% in 2021 to 20% by 2024.
To provide an opportunity for everyone to contribute towards national development.
Basic Information About
Electronic Transfer Levy
The Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) imposes a levy of 1.5% on electronic transfers
The Levy is charged to the transferor at the time of transfer.
The Levy is charged by the entities listed in the First Schedule to the Act.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is responsible for collecting the Levy and paying the Levy into the Consolidated Fund
The Commissioner-General is responsible for the administration of the Levy in accordance with the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915)
The Commissioner-General may issue Administrative Guidelines as may be required for the efficient and effective implementation of the Act.
The Minister may make Regulations for the efficient and effective implementation of the Act.
The charging entities are:
Electronic Money Issuers (EMIs);
Payment Service Providers (PSPs);
Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions; and
Other Financial Institutions prescribed by Regulations made under the Act.
Any transfer to or from a mobile money account or from a bank account of a person will be subject to the Levy. These include:
Mobile money transfers done between wallets on the same electronic money issuer– For example sending money from your MTN Momo wallet to another person’s MTN Momo wallet.
Transfers from a wallet on one electronic money issuer to a recipient on another electronic money issuer – For example sending money from your Vodafone Cash wallet to another person’s AirtelTigo wallet.
Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money wallets: For example, Kofi transfers money from his CBG bank account to Ama’s G-Money wallet.
Transfers from mobile money wallets to bank accounts: For example, Esi transfers money from her Zeepay wallet to Yayra’s bank account.
Bank transfers on an instant pay digital platform or application which originates from a bank account belonging to an individual: For example, Kwame transferring money from his ADB app to Akua’s National Investment Bank account.
Transfers that do not fall under the E-Levy
The following transfers are excluded from the Levy:
Cumulative transfer of GHS 100 per day made by the same person using mobile money:Everyone will be able to send up to GHS100 a day without paying the Levy.
Transfer between accounts owned by the same person: If you are sending money to your own account, you will not be charged the E-Levy provided your bank or mobile money accounts are linked with your Ghana Card.For example, a transfer from Naa’s AirtelTigo wallet to her MTN wallet or from her Fidelity bank account to her Prudential bank account or from her CalBank savings account to her current or investment account will not attract the Levy because Naa has linked all accounts with her Ghana Card.
Transfers for the payment of taxes, fees, and charges: Any payment of taxes, fees or charges made using the Ghana.gov platform or other designated Government of Ghana payment systems will not attract the Levy.
Electronic Clearing of Cheques: Clearing of cheques by banks and Specialised Deposit-taking Institutions such as savings and loans companies, etc. will not attract the Levy.
Specified Merchant Payments: Transfers made through a payment service (mobile money, bank application, FinTech, etc.) to a commercial establishment which is registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority for the purposes of Income Tax or Value Added Tax are excluded.
Transfers between principal, agent, and master-agent accounts: To avoid charging the Levy multiple times, transfers among principal, agent, and master-agent are excluded from the Levy.
Electronic Transfer – a transaction carried out electronically on the initiative of an originator through an institution or platform to make available an amount of money to a beneficiary
Electronic Money Issuer – a payment service provider who issues electronic money
Merchant – a commercial establishment which has been registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority for Income Tax or Value Added Tax purposes
Specified merchant payments – payments made to merchants through a payment service to a person registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority for the purposes of Income Tax or Value Added Tax
A dedicated call center has been set up to help individuals who may need further clarification or who might be experiencing any challenges. You can contact us on: