Former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson

Cassiel Ato Forson, Member of Parliament for Ejumako-Enyan-Esiam constituency wants the government to withdraw a directive to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to halt the upfront deduction of the Communication Service Tax (CST).

Mr Forson said the directive, issued by the Communications Minister, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is unlawful, as she has no right to give such orders.

The Communications Ministry has ordered MNOs to stop passing on the 9% CST to subscribers.

In a letter addressed to the National Communications Authority (NCA), the Communications Ministry said the CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GETFUND levy and all other taxes and levies imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated.

“At series of meetings held between the Ministry of Communications, MNOs and the NCA on October 7 and 8, 2019, we were informed that prior to September 4, 2019, MNOs had not been passing on CST to subscribers but had decided to take advantage of the 3% increase to pass on the entire tax to subscribers. This has effectively increased their profit margin at the expense of subscribers,” the letter explained.

Ato Forson
Cassiel Ato Forson

But, Mr Forson in a letter said “under The Revenue Administration Act 2009 (Act 791), the administration and management of tax revenues reside in the Ghana Revenue Authority and CST Act 2019 does not apply the principles of the VAT.

“From the two Acts, the Minister for Communications does not have the powers to issue an administrative order on how a tax policy should be implemented; and secondly, the CST cannot be treated in the same way VAT is treated. The issuance of the directive is, therefore, an illegal act and should be withdrawn with immediate effect,” he added.

Below is a copy of the letter:

Source, adomfmonline