Since it was passed by Parliament, the contentious Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) has become a source of concern for many Ghanaians.
Some people are worried about how the new tax would affect their money, but the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will start implementing it on May 1.
Fred Kwashie Awuttey, a Tax and Management Adviser, has suggested six legal ways for Ghanaians to avoid paying the contentious tax.
1. Chase the cheque book
The simplest way to avoid paying E-Levy is to use cheques. Mr Awuttey noted that since clearing cheques by electronic means is exempted from the tax, it provides an excellent alternative to deal with the charges associated with the E-Levy.
2. Do ‘physical’ cash-in and cash-out
The E-Levy does not cover cash-out and cash-in made at the mobile money merchant, thus, it is an option to explore. You can ask a ‘momo, merchant to deposit money into a particular ,momo, wallet.
When the person withdraws (cash-out), they only pay the momo charges, not E-Levy.
3. Make payments through merchant short code (for shops and supermarkets)
Since E-Levy does not cover payments made through a merchant’s shortcode registered with the Ghana Revenue Authority, the tax expert advised Ghanaians must ensure that they pay through such codes at a supermarket or shop.
First, make sure that the shop has a merchant shortcode registered to the GRA before initiating the transaction.
4. Update bank, ‘momo’ account details with the Ghana Card
Noting that E-Levy does not cover transfers between two or more accounts held by one person with Ghana Card, he advised that Ghanaians should ensure they update all their accounts with the card.
“So to minimise the impact, individuals must update their bank accounts and mobile money accounts with the Ghana Card. This way, they will not be affected by the tax when they transfer money from one account; say from their Vodafone wallet to their MTN wallet,” Mr Awuttey told Yen.com.
5. Regulate the volume of electronic payments at the bank
With ₵100 as the threshold for transactions daily, the Tax Expert said to avoid the tax, people must ensure all their electronic transactions in a day falls within the threshold.
6. Pay your taxes through the Ghana.gov platform
To avoid paying E-Levy while paying other taxes, do it through the Ghana.gov platform. The tax expert explains that that platform is exempt from charging the E-Levy.