Government in the last half of 2019 will be working on safeguarding Ghana’s digital infrastructure.
This has been the justification for the increment in the Communication Services tax by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
A Deputy Minister of Communication Vincent Sowah Odotei explained to Joybusiness the rationale for the increase in the tax.
The Communication Service Tax, also referred to as talk tax, has been introduced into the Country’s tax regime by the former administration of President Kufuor to support the financing of technology projects in the country.
Presenting the budget review and supplementary budget for the last half of the year 2019, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta has announced an increment of the tax from its current 6% to 9%.
“The Communication Service Tax (CST) was introduced in 2008 at an ad valorem rate of 6%. The tax is levied on charges payable by consumers for the use of communication services.
Government proposes to increase the tax to 9% to develop the foundation for the creation of a viable technology ecosystem in the country.
This will comprise amongst others putting in systems to identify and combat cybercrime, protect users of information technology and combat money laundering and other financial crimes.
The increase will not be earmarked, however, the sharing ratio will be adjusted in such a manner that the national youth employment programmes continue to receive the same proportions as they are currently receiving” he noted.
Defending the move Deputy Minister of Communication, Sowah Odotei hinted that Government will use funds from the increment to safeguard key digital Infrastructure.
“Cyber protection is emerging as a key security issue and our counterparts in the US, for instance, are battling from the infringement of their cyberspace since 2016.
“We’re coming to set up a National Cybersecurity authority to ensure that we continue to enjoy the benefits of technology so it’s important we look at how to pay for it, the reasons for the tax increment. it’s just a small margin so that we will be able to take care of the Cyber ecosystem of the country,” Sowah Odotei told Joybusiness
Meanwhile, Parliament is expected to debate and approve the proposal.