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Ghana imposes 6 percent tax on mobile phone calls

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Telecoms updateThe Parliament of Ghana today July 9, 2013, approved the Communications Service Tax (Amendment) 2013.

The interconnectivity tax is expected to be paid by the telecommunications companies. It is levied on calls between networks. Ghana has six telecoms operators – they are MTN, Vodafone, Tigo, Expresso, Airtel and Glo.

The law, according to the government seeks to amend some provisions in the Communications Service Tax Act, 2008 (Act 754) to clarify the scope and coverage of the tax and include interconnection services within the tax base.

The Communications Service Act, 2008 (Act 754) which imposed a six per cent charge on communications service usage was an excise tax intended to raise additional revenue from communication services, provided by mobile operators to their customers.

The Bill was passed despite objections by service providers.

The Ghana Telecoms Chamber that opposed the bill warned that the cost of telecoms services could rise if the law was passed.

“If parliament passes the CST Amendment Bill it would lead to a substantial increase in the cost of telecommunications services, if operators pass on the cost to consumers,” the Chamber said in a statement July 3, 2013.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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One comment

  1. You pay more when you make between network calls, say MTN to GLO than within network, MTN to MTN calls. The reason the service providers do this is not strictly because of additional operational cost, but a marketing strategy to draw and restrain the customers, family and friends to their network. to pay a little less for calls, thereby increasing their customer base. Why should the telecom companies not pay tax on the additional income and why should they pass the cost to the customers. That will amount to paying double charges for the same service. We will have to resist it if the do.