Is there a new 1% e-levy tax on credit and bundle purchases?

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, claims surfaced on X (formerly Twitter) indicating that a 1 percent tax had been imposed on airtime and bundle purchases. The posts suggested that this was a new e-levy tax.

 At the time of this publication, the claim had reached 135,000 people, garnering 1,200 likes, 738 reposts, and 100 bookmarks.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the facts below.

Explanation: The electronic transfer levy is a 1% levy imposed on electronic transfers at the time of the transfer, per the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075), and the Electronic Transfer Levy (Amendment) Act 2022.

A search on the GRA website and other media platforms revealed no information about a new e-levy tax on airtime and bundle purchases.

Additionally, Fact-Check Ghana contacted the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) customer contact centre to verify the claim. However, the GRA refuted it, explaining that the levy applies only to the transfer of funds from mobile money accounts or bank accounts.

Further comments on the same post suggested that the tax was being administered by Telecel (formerly Vodafone). To verify this, Fact-Check Ghana purchased airtime on Telecel but found that no such tax was applied.


Fact-Check Ghana purchased airtime on Telecel but found that no such tax was applied

Fact-Check Ghana also contacted Telecel via mail to verify the claim. Telecel dismissed the claim and explained that the charges in question were due to a temporary system issue which has since been resolved.

Furthermore, a response to Frequently Asked Questions about the e-levy on the AirtelTigo website states that the tax does not apply to the purchase of airtime and data bundles.

Screenshot of FAQ from AirtelTigo

Moreover, Fact-Check Ghana’s internet search did not show reports from any credible media platform on the purported tax.

In summary, the 1 percent e-levy tax applies to the transfer of funds across mobile money wallets and bank accounts, not to airtime and data bundle purchases. Additionally, neither the GRA nor telecommunication companies have announced such a tax. Furthermore, Telecel has explained that the few instances where people may have observed deductions from the purchase of bundles and airtime were due to a temporary system hitch which has been resolved. Therefore, the claim that there is a new 1 percent tax on airtime and data bundle purchases is inaccurate.

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