Some residents of the Tamale metropolis have expressed concern over the introduction of the new electronic direct debit (E-direct debit) announced in the 2022 budget and economic policy.
They said the electronic tax, if approved by parliament, could impoverish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that operated their businesses through electronic transactions.
They said this when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) asked for their opinion on the budget in Tamale.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, announced on Wednesday November 17th the introduction of a new 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions, including mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inbound remittances.
Presenting the budget to parliament, he said transactions that totaled GH ¢ 100 per day were exempt.
Dr Wahab Abdulai Husein, Biomedical Scientist at Tamale University Hospital, said: “Those of us in the formal sector are already burdened with some taxes, and with the introduction of this we will pay more. ‘taxes since electronic transactions, in particular, mobile money, has become more popular’.
“We hope that Parliament will do something about this so that we can be relieved to pay more taxes,” he said.
Mr. Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Fataw, an information technology (IT) technician, who also operates a mobile phone store, said: “For us who buy and sell online, this new tax would slow down our business, because the additional costs would mean that we pay more for the goods but that we make less profit for our services ”.
He also urged parliament to frown on the electronic tax to help support his business.
Mr. Imoro Maza, a trader, said the new levy would increase business costs and called on the government to reduce the levy.