Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI-Ghana, a policy think-tank, Franklin Cudjoe wants the Ghana Revenue Authority to immediately withdraw the list of non-core banking taxable charges on banking services in the country.
According to Mr. Cudjoe, the "GRA should immediately stop the advert that has been running concerning the fears expressed by some on these outrageous charges."
Speaking in an interview with the host of Peace FM's morning show, Kwami Sefa Kayi, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe expressed worry over the list which falls under the 17.5 percent Valued Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).
The GRA on Friday, 6th June, 2014 released a list of services that fell under the new tax net. The list affects nearly all bank charges.
The GRA, in a letter to Bankers and Banks, said the issuance of the new taxes will commence on July 1 this year.
The amendment of the VAT law last November expanded the scope of the tax and raised the rate from 15 percent (including the National Health Insurance Levy) to 17.5 percent.
Some financial services, which hitherto had been exempted from VAT, will now start charging VAT next month.
Thirty two services including fees, commissions and similar charges for financial services will now be slapped with the VAT charge.
The list of financial services that attract the 17.5% tax include Bank draft, Current Accounts (both Foreign/Local), stopped Cheques, Returned Cheques, Remote Banking Services (Online Banking, E-Statements, E-Clients, SMS banking etc) among others.
But some bank customers are outraged over the latest list of financial services that would attract the new 17.5% VAT charge.
Addressing the issue, Mr. Cudjoe explained the Committee which reviewed the tax "disrespected consumer rights."
To him, he expected “the banks to raise the red flags that in an economy where we say that a lot more people are unbanked; this is not the way to go...I don’t see this as a good way to look for money. This is just like the condom tax…
“The constitution of that committee itself was wrong. It disrespected consumer right. The banks are not representing us, unfortunately. I’ve said that the banks in this country are lactogenic banks. They just share awards among themselves every year. There’s no innovation in this banking industry in this country.”
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