The Upper West office of the Information Services Department (ISD), has intensified a sensitization drive to clear misconceptions a section of the public has held about the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) with a call on them to embrace the revenue mobilization initiative of the government.
The ISD said through the sensitization exercise it had been able to clear misconceptions including the notion that the E-levy would be charged on saved monies in their Mobile Money (MoMo) accounts, deposits, withdrawals, and transactions below Gh₵100.00 among others.
Mr Mustapha Sinto Nuhu, the Upper West Regional Director of the ISD, who made this known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa, said the E-levy would inure to the benefit of the poor in society.
He said the exercise was in partnership between the ISD and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on the E-levy implementation to help clear public misconceptions about the E-levy Act and to drum home the need for them to comply.
He said the proceeds from the E-levy would be invested in development initiatives such as building infrastructure including roads, schools, and hospitals among others as well as supporting programmes such as the Free Senior High School.
“We should understand that E-levy has not come to put a strain on the poor, because the poor largely will send less than Gh₵100.00.
“It will affect the rich and rich people will contribute more to the E-levy tax than the poor and that will come to positively affect the lives of the poor. It is rather targeting the rich and not the poor,” he explained.
The sensitisation exercise was conducted through the use of information vans and Community Information Centres across the eleven districts and municipalities in the region.
Mr Sinto urged the public to register their MoMo Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) with their Ghana Cards to avoid E-levy charges on transfers between personal accounts.
The Information Officer also cautioned MoMo agents to desist from transferring money to or withdrawing money from a person’s account in a proxy.
“A system is being put in place so that by the end of June it will be able to detect that. So any mobile money vender who will be caught up in that will not only be put out of business but will also be charged for criminal conduct because you are helping people to evade tax which is criminal,” he explained.
He said, “As an Information Services Department, it is our mandate to partner with any government and non-governmental agency as far as developmental activity is concerned,” hence the partnership with the GRA to educate the people on the E-levy Act.
Mr Sinto commended the District and Municipal Assemblies for supporting the Information Officers at the district levels to carry out the exercise.
Mr Samuel Owusu Anhwere, a Deputy Chief Information Officer-Head of Marketing Division, Accra, who was in the region to monitor the sensitisation exercise, expressed satisfaction about the reception of the information by the public.
He said the responses from the public including the churches and mosques they visited indicated that those who, hitherto, held any misconception about the E-levy had disbanded those misconceptions.
Mr Anhwere said they would work to ensure that all the communities in the region were covered in the sensitization exercise for the benefit of the citizens.