The Minister for Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed that tax percentages that have already been deducted from consumers as a result of the Communications Service Tax (CST) are being refunded by the Telecommunications Companies, ABC News can report.
The government, through the Ministry of Communication, had earlier instructed the Telcos to stop the upfront deductions of the CST, describing it as an illegal and deliberate attempt to make the government unpopular.
Subsequently, the telcos agreed to cease the upfront deduction of the CST after meeting with the Ministry of Communication, National Communications Authority, as well as, other industry players last month, but noted that it could only apply the directive from November 26, 2019.
It was subsequently communicated that that all monies that have been deducted upfront by the Telcos will be refunded to compensate for the loss of consumers.
Taking her turn at the Meet-the-press series in Accra Thursday, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the refunding has ready started. She said although the Telcos have been granted the permission to stop the upfront deductions from October 20, 2019, a consensus was reached for already deducted taxes to be refunded.
“We’ve had a series of discussions with the Telcos on the implementation of the directive to stop the upfront deduction of CST. They’ve indicated that they need some time up till the 26th of November to configure their systems so that it is done, and they’ve been granted that period.
“However, all those monies that have been deducted from customers upfront, from the 7% or so is being refunded to customers since the 20th of October and so if you will check, the notification will come that the deduction has been made and then a notification of a refund will be given” she noted.
The Minister is also seeking for the taxation of mobile network operators regarding the profit they make on mobile money transactions.
At the press briefing, the Minister said the operators generate some GH¢71 million monthly on the transactions, yet that money remains untaxed.