July 10, 2013

Parliament on Tuesday passed the ammended Communications Service Tax, after government expunged the ealier clause that would have taxed persons receiving international calls.

This follows public outcry against that move as several people including the opposition with the view that if the Bill is passed in that state government will lose over GHS 45 million every month, a situation that necessitated the introduction of the levy.

However, the Bill will not affect all electronic communication as was ealier drafted.

In the Bill, a telecommunications operator which fails to comply and exact the charges would face sanctions including a revoking of its operational license by the National Communication Authority.

The Bill has ammended some provisions in the Communication Service Tax, 2008 (Act 754) to clarify the scope and coverage of the tax and include interconnection services with the tax base.

The telecommunication companies had the own reservationa over the Bill, which forced government to suspend the continuation of the consideration of the Bill for few days to allow further consultations with stakeholders.

Clause one of the Bill has ammended section one of Act 754 to impose a tax known as Communication Service Tax.

clause two has ammended section two of the Act to provide for the tax to be paid together with the electronic communication service charge payable to the service provided by the user of the service.

Where the service is received from a source outside Ghana, the tax is to be paid by the user which received the service. The action clarifies the period within which the tax becomes due.

Kwadwo Anim/Ghanamps.gov.gh