The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has reverted to a phased approach of the e-levy implementation because its Common Platform that will power a one go rollout has failed to take off.
In an earlier letter dated April 4, 2022, GRA had directed all charging agencies to ignore an earlier directive for a phased implementation and work towards a one-go rollout come May 1, 2022.
But in another letter to all charging agencies, dated April 28, 2022, the Commissioner-General of GRA, Rev. Dr. Amishadai Owusu-Amoah noted that some charging agencies have still not been able to integrate their networks with the E-Levy Management System and that has necessitated a remodification/revert to the phased implementation.
The GRA had earlier proposed a three-phased rollout before deciding to take it in one-go. But in this second modification, it is going for a two-phased implementation.
Phase one, which is scheduled to start May 1, 2022, covers implementation of the levy per wallet or account within the same charging entity (mobile network, bank, Fintech, deposit-taking companies etc), while Phase two will take care of the implementation of the levy per person across all charging entities beginning from July 1, 2022.
Some 383 charging entities have been assigned/authorized to implement the e-lev. They comprise of 23 banks, six (6) electronic money issuers (mobile money operators), 144 rural and community banks, 137 microfinance companies, 11 financial houses, 25 savings and loans companies, and 37 payment service providers.
It would be recalled that Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam Dzata George did state that GRA would not be able to do the one-go implementation of e-levy on May Day due to some technical challenges, but the GRA insisted on going ahead with plans to roll the levy out in one go come May 1.
Feeling vindicated, the MP tweeted “Dear @GhanaRevenue, next time take technical advice when it is given. When you rush, you would crush. Cheers.”
The MP had earlier also alleged on Metro TV that, even though the e-levy law bars GRA from contracting a private entity to manage the e-levy implementation, the tax collector had contracted Ghanaian payment service provider, ExpressPay at a cost of US$40 million to provide the platform for the e-levy management.
Attempts to get GRA and ExpressPay to respond to the allegation proved futile, as both parties have chosen not to response to queries from journalists regarding that matter.
But some of the charging entities have confirmed to Techgh24 tthat ExpressPay has indeed been contracted to play a role in the management of e-levy implementation.
Indeed, contracting ExpressPay for this role at a cost of GHS241 million came up long before the e-levy Bill was even passed into law, and government assured Parliament that it had suspended the idea. But the Ningo-Prampram MP’s allegation suggests that government is still going ahead with spending that money to manage the collection of the levy.
Meanwhile, the GRA has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on e-levy detailing all the public needs to know about e-levy, including exemptions, as it is about to be rolled out.
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