Why I don't support the E-Levy

NDC Youth Wing E Levy Protest.jfif The government must look somewhere else for more revenue to carry out its development

Fri, 25 Mar 2022 Source: Osei Tutu

The E-Levy is, to put it bluntly, a 'triple taxation' if there is a term like that. It smacks of the tendency on the part of the leadership to sniff the very life out of the citizenry and this must not be countenanced under any circumstance.

When a worker receives his salary, government dips its hands into the money and takes a chunk of it in a form of direct tax. When the worker cashes the money and begins to use it, he pays tax on every item he buys by way of indirect tax which is part of the price build-up of the items he buys.

These two taxes on that same income amount to double taxation but the citizens are paying without any wrangling.

Now if the worker does not use all the money directly by himself but decides to send the part to his mother, his mother will also pay indirect tax in the course of using the money. So double taxation is simply unavoidable.

If the government decides to tax the means by which the worker is transferring the money to his mother by way of E-Levy, that certainly amounts to taxing the same money three times. This must be seen as unacceptable by all and sundry.

Another point is the justification the government spokespersons are trying hard to spin around the E-Levy, some of them very laughable, to say the least.

All of a sudden the E-Levy has become the catch-all source of revenue without which government cannot do such things as the Free SHS, cannot build roads, cannot employ more people, the country will have to go to the IMF and what have you. How did we sink that low?

Another justification, supplied by the finance minister himself, is so simplistic that, it is surprising it is coming from such a personage.

According to the finance minister, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, about 90% of the tax is paid by the people of Greater Accra Region, hence the E-Levy is necessary to spread the tax net more evenly

What the finance minister failed to realize is that, if a tax is paid in Greater Accra Region, it does not mean that the one paying it lives in that region.

For instance, if Mr. X imports second-hand clothes, by necessity he has to pay the import duty at the Tema Port, which is in the Greater Accra Region. But the final consumer, who is the actual taxpayer, might be living somewhere else.

Yet all these have been used as justification for the E-Levy. If we factor in the idea that the E-Levy will likely derail the government's own agenda of a cashless economy, then one can say that there is no justification whatsoever for the E-Levy.

Government must therefore begin to look somewhere else for more revenue to carry out its development agenda.


Columnist: Osei Tutu
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