Don't tax mobile money profits – Gov't warned

Financial analyst Joe Jackson has cautioned government against attempts to tax mobile money profits, indicating such tax is likely to overburden mobile money users in the country. Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said her outfit is pushing for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to be taxed for the profit they make on mobile money transactions. At a news conference in Accra Thursday, the Minister said the operators generate some 71 million cedis monthly on mobile money transactions, amount she said remains untaxed. Data from the Bank of Ghana last year showed mobile money transactions increased from 155 billion cedis to 233 billion cedis, representing 43 per cent growth in just a year. It also showed the volume of transactions on the mobile money platforms increased from 2017 to 2018 and reached 1.4 billion. Speaking on TV3 Midday Live Friday,Mr Jackson who is the Director of Business Development at Dalex Finance, said telecommunication companies already pay corporate tax and introducing more will not be ideal. “These telcos pay corporate tax. Mobile money has been of extreme utility value to this country; it has pushed up the country’s GDP by a few basis points. “It’s cheaper and has helped with the financial inclusion drive that we are all aiming at. Instinctively, I would say ‘minister, desist from touching mobile money profits’”, he advised. He fears the telcos will have no option, than to pass the tax to the consumer, if government goes ahead to introduce and implement such tax. “These telcos are not in charity. The minister should think about the effects it will have on the ordinary consumer who uses the platform more. The telcos will pass it on to us. We as consumers are already overburdened”, he indicated. In June, the World Bank declared Ghana as the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa with registered accounts increasing six-fold. By Grace Hammoah Asare||Ghana]]>

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