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E-Levy Won’t Affect Tithes – John Kumah Trashes NDC Lies

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Deputy Minister for Finance, John Ampontuah Kumah has refuted the opposition National Democratic Congress claims that Religious bodies will be taxed when the Electronic levy transactions are being implemented.

According to the Deputy Finance Minister and MP for Ejisu, no religious bodies will be exempted from the e-levy which will be implemented starting from May 1, therefore urging Ghanaians to discard misinformation about the propaganda trending.

Dr. Kumah who spoke to Joy News, in reaction to Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George claims that Religious bodies will be taxed explained that any amount sent to churches or mosques will not attract any charges from the levy.

“Any amount sent to churches or mosques will not attract e-levy charges. Rumors that churches will be taxed with e-levy are complete propaganda”.

In an earlier interview, the NDC MP for Ningo Prampram, Sam George sounded an alarm that the levy will affect tithes.

He said the only such religious contributions that can be omitted is when the law is repealed. Yeah

“An issue that has not been clarified is the tithe and offertories and the Zakat in the mosque. We know that we can now pay these online. Now, the exemptions that have been given have not been given to churches,” despite the suggestion that churches should go and register as merchants.

“A Merchant SIM must be held by a tax compliant person. Now the law says that tithes, offertories, and Zakat are tax exempt. So how does a church hold a Merchant SIM and pay taxes for tithes, offertories, and Zakat which are tithe exempt?” he quizzed.

But the Deputy Minister of Finance urged Ghanaians to ignore Sam George’s lies, against the implementation of the E-Levy transaction.
He explained that already, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has put in place the required infrastructure to seamlessly interface with that of the Telcos for the smooth rollout of the levy on Sunday 1st May 2022.

He said “contrary to some naysayers’ expectations, the GRA, Ministry of Finance, and the Telcos have had fruitful deliberations over the levy’s implementation these past weeks. The deliberations among the various stakeholders have helped address all potential implementation concerns. Indeed, the extensive deliberations climaxed on Wednesday 27th April 2022, when the final road map for implementation was agreed on”.

The MP for Ejisu noted that the government’s commitment to a smooth implementation of the levy has not waned, albeit the needless and often exaggerated propaganda raised by key members of the NDC.

“Government is highly optimistic that the implementation of the levy will not suffer rollout challenges due to the thorough implementation review process. A hotline will be announced to help address the challenges users will face in the rollout of the levy”.

“The GRA and the telcos have agreed on various implementation modalities.  Therefore, it is expected that all teething glitches will be identified, recognize,d dealt with accordingly and quickly. All onnet transactions will be onboarded by the Telecos starting from May 1st while a full integration of their systems will be completed in due course” he added.

“The government urges all well-meaning Ghanaians to ignore the unsavory and doubtful commentaries peddled by the NDC elements on the levy’s rollout. Many of them, at best, are hoping and praying that the novel revenue measure never sees the light of day due to the positive impact the proceeds from this revenue measure will be used for”.

“Government remains determined to fully deploy the levy for the betterment of Ghana. Let’s build Ghana together” he added.

Already, the Ghana Revenue Authority has also announced its decision to commence the operationalization of the E-levy from May 1 in a modified-phased approach.

This follows the results of an assessment carried out by the GRA to test the general readiness of some charging entities to integrate with the E-Levy management system.

The implementation of the Electronic Transaction levy (e-levy) is expected to start on May 1, 2022.

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has revealed some sets of digital transactions that will not attract the 1.5% E-Levy charge.

– BY Daniel Bampoe