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Majority of Ghanaians oppose e-levy – Afrobarometer study

Three-fourths of Ghanaians disapprove of the recently passed electronic transaction levy (e-levy), a new Afrobarometer survey conducted by CDD-Ghana shows.

The government introduced the e-levy on 1 May in a bid to widen the tax net. However, a large majority of Ghanaians think it is a bad idea and will mean a greater tax burden on citizens.

Many do not trust that the government will use the revenues generated to fund development programmes, and citizens are almost evenly split as to whether they will continue to use electronic financial transactions.

The study also shows that a majority of Ghanaians believe there are several important goals that a tax revenue system must achieve, including ensuring that people understand the taxes they owe, reducing the tax burden, using tax revenues more effectively, and ensuring that citizens and businesses pay taxes.

Key findings

▪ Three-fourths of Ghanaians disapprove of the e-levy, including 67% who “strongly disapprove” of it. Only two in 10 (19%) endorse the new tax.

▪ A similar proportion (76%) think the e-levy is a bad idea because it will increase the tax burden on the poor and ordinary citizens (Figure 2). This includes 63% who “strongly agree” with this view.

▪ Three-quarters are also “not very confident” (24%) or “not at all confident” (51%) that the government will fulfil its pledge to use the revenues generated by the e-levy to fund development programmes.

â–ª Faced with the e-levy, Ghanaians are about evenly split as to whether they will continue to use electronic financial transactions (47%) or avoid using them (49%).

â–ª A majority of Ghanaians agree that there are several important goals that a tax revenue system must achieve, including ensuring that people understand the taxes they owe (82%), reducing the tax burden (81%), using tax revenues more effectively (83%), and ensuring that citizens and businesses pay taxes (79%).

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