MINISTER OF Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed that the Electronic Transfer Levy also known as E-Levy, which was approved by Parliament on Tuesday, will take off in May this year.
He explained that even though the bill has been passed into law, it will take some time for it to be implemented since the Ghana Revenue Authority, the body mandated to assess, collect and account for tax revenue in the country, would need to configure its systems for a smooth take-off.
“We had some meetings with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and they have said at the beginning of May they should be able to put their system together,” Mr. Ofori-Atta told journalists in Parliament yesterday after the presentation of the message on the State of the Nation by President Akufo-Addo.
The flagship tax legislation is set to rope in more people into the tax bracket after a boycott by the opposition lawmakers.
The E-Levy, which was first pegged at 1.75% in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government presented to the House in November last year, was passed at 1.5% with Speaker Alban S.K. Bagbin in the chair, after he returned from a medical leave.
The NDC Minority, which has 137 out of the 275 seats in the chamber, had opposed the bill, leading to a standoff that travelled for more than three months.
Pandemonium broke out on the night of December 21, 2021, when MPs openly threw punches at each other over the bill, while deciding whether it should be taken under a certificate of urgency.
Before the E-Levy Bill was brought to the House, members of the Finance Committee belonging to opposing parties were divided on the bill, with 13 of the Majority NPP MPs endorsing it, while 12 NDC MPs rejected it after a tie was broken by the Chairman of Committee, Kwaku Agyemang Kwarteng, with a casting vote.
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has praised Parliament for passing the E-Levy, saying that the new tax will contribute significantly to the domestic revenue mobilisation.
“Mr. Speaker, despite the protracted and sometimes acrimonious nature of proceedings, I am happy that the House has, finally, found it possible to pass the E-Levy Bill. I believe the levy is going to make a significant contribution to revenue mobilisation and the management of the national economy, and I want to thank Members of the House for making this possible,” he stated.