The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications on behalf of its members – AirtelTigo, MTN and Vodafone has provided an explanation of the implications of new Communication Service Tax (CST) to customers.
The Chamber in a statement stated that the Communication Service Tax which is now at 9%, will be applied to any recharge purchase.
This means that for every GH¢1 of recharge purchased, a 9% CST fee will be charged leaving GhS0.91 for purchase of products and services. The implementation of the new CST will start on October 1, 2019.
Presenting the budget review and supplementary budget for the last half of the year 2019, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta announced an increment of the tax from its current 6% to 9%.
The CST, also referred to as talk tax, was introduced into the Country’s tax regime by the former administration of President Kufuor to support the financing of technology projects in the country.
The latest increment means that consumers would have to pay more for the same service they enjoyed over a decade now. Consumers usually pay the tax on such services, therefore the increment would be translated into cost to consumers. As this tax also affects Fintechs and their usage of telecommunication services, consumers of digital financial services should be ready to pay more effective October 1, 2019.
Last year, tax revenue collected from consumers for using communication services in the country reached GHS 420 million, representing an increase of 27.7 percent.
Below are examples of communications services that consumers would have to pay more to enjoy.
Cable and satellite television
Video and music streaming
Telephone, including Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Mobile communications, and similar services
Fintech (Banks mobile applications).