Communications Service Tax should not affect customers

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Accra, Oct 3, GNA – Customers of various Telecom Companies have called on government to re-invigorate its tax systems, where it can generate more income, instead of placing a nine per cent tax on phone calls.
The taxation of the calls, they argued would impoverish more vulnerable people who want to place calls to relay important messages to their relations in different locations.
This was the outcome of a random interview, the Ghana News Agency carried out in some sections of Accra on the introduction of the new tax.
Some of the interviewees also called on the Telecom Companies to also absorb the increment as they did in the past as a way of cushioning their customers.
Mr Thomas Nkele, a mobile Money Merchant said the Telecoms could absorb the cost on account of the numerous Mobile money transfers and promotions they were carrying out.
He believed that, if the tax was meant for development of a viable technology ecosystem, then government should fund it and give respite to the customers.
Mr Nkele said in the past when there was a similar increment in terms of taxes, the Service Providers absorbed it and wondered why this time around they were passing the tax on their customers.
Another Interviewee who preferred anonymity said previously it was six percent,  now increased to nine per cent and called on the Companies to increase the charges on the calls, rather than charging at source.
He said it was embarrassing to buy credit to load for say, GHC 10.00 only to receive something less. ”Why won’t they rather reduce the number of hours and minutes, customers talk to defray the tax component?
The Communication Service Tax (CST) may seem little, but it will gradually affect the poor Ghanaians, they lamented.
On October 1, 2019, the mobile users implemented a nine per cent Communication Service Tax (CST), which became a major subject of concern in the media landscape.
The Communication Service Tax (CST) , which was previously set for six  percent, was however raised to nine per cent during the presentation of the 2019 Mid-year Budget Review by the Finance Minister.
According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the levy was increased in a bid to build a viable technology ecosystem in Ghana.
 A viable technology ecosystem, according to the Minister, involved identifying and combating cybercrime, protecting users of information technology and combating money laundering and other financial crimes.
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications explained the implementation of the new levy thus: For every GH¢1 of recharge purchased, a percent CST fee will be charged leaving GH¢0.93 for the purchase of products and services.

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