The eCommerce Association of Ghana plans to engage with the Ministry of Finance and other stakeholders to discuss the electronic transaction levy (E-Levy) and its impact on online businesses and jobs.

According to the leadership of online retail businesses, the new tax directive will lead to the loss of jobs in the eCommerce and fintech industries when implemented.

They worriedly anticipate a slow down on the development of e-commerce in Ghana because most payments are made through mobile wallets and fintech platforms.

Executive Director for eCommerce Association of Ghana, Paul Asinor, says leadership will potentially engage relevant stakeholders and the finance ministry to reduce or suspend it.

“The attention of the eCommerce Association of Ghana has been drawn to the introduction of the e-levy on electronic transactions in the government’s financial policy for 2022, read by the minister of finance, economic planning.

…we, therefore, seek, as a matter of urgency, to engage with the Ministry of Finance and all other relevant stakeholders to discuss this e-levy, its impact on online businesses and jobs, have another look and possibly reduce or even suspend it”.

In a statement released by the association, they acknowledged government’s effort to rake in revenue for the state but objects to the move to heap so much tax on online transactions.

“In as much as we, as the industry association of Ghana’s online retail, are not against the need for government to find creative ways of generating revenue to administer their mandate.

We wish to draw to their attention some of the negative impacts that this new e-levy is going to wield on the e-commerce and other affiliated industries in Ghana”.

Negative Impact of the E-Levy
The association points out that the levy holds the potential to erode all the gains made by the government’s digitalization agenda, which will speed up a major U-turn to government’s vision of a cash-lite economy.

  • It will send the largely unbanked population back to the days of financial exclusion.
  • A negative toll on the use of digital payments as compared to the ‘cash is king’ era
  • Reduction in online sales resulting in tax reduction to the government
  • Return to increased cash transactions, compromising the safety of delivery riders etc

Therefore, the eCommerce Association is assuring its members and the entire eCommerce community in Ghana that it will continue to promote and grow online retail and boost confidence in the sector.

“We understand that after COVID-19, your focus is business recovery, and we seek to remove all administrative burdens that may impact adversely on that”, it concluded.

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