After eLevy, Government Now Wants To Tax Calls On WhatsApp, Zoom And Facebook

The Ministry of Finance, Ghana Revenue Authority and Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation are keenly strategising on ways to rake in revenue from Over-The-Top (OTT) digital services, as many telecommunication customers are moving away from traditional sources of telecoms like voice…thereby reducing government revenue.

An over-the-top (OTT) digital service is a media service offered directly to telecommunication customer via the Internet.

Ursula Owusu OMG

OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms. Currently, many people are resorting to OTT communications to reduce communications expenses.

With this, they are open to real-time communications solutions that operate over the Internet – such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook, Skype and others.

Addressing the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D), Minister for Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful hinted that stakeholders in the telecommunication sector, especially Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), will be engaged on how government can shore-up its revenue by taxing OTT.

“We are determined to accelerate the use of digital technology, applications and services at all levels, build and protect our digital infrastructure, and enhance capacity and digital skills acquisition of our youth. As you may be aware, it is only through tax revenue mobilisation that such investments and more can be funded.

“Currently, government is losing huge revenues from the MNOs to OTT digital service providers as traditional sources of telecoms revenue like voice declines. It is important that we have a frank, open dialogue on this, and explore other sources of revenue within the digital services space to improve government domestic revenue mobilisation,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said.


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