Ato Forson defends telcos for instant talk tax deductions

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson
  • On October 1, 2019 the telcos started charging the increased Communication Service Tax.
  • The telcos deduct immediately a consumer recharges the airtime.
  • However, the government believes this is to make it unpopular but Ato Forson thinks otherwise.

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, has said that the telcos are not sabotaging the government by instantly deducting the 9% increment in the Communication Service Tax (CST) when customers recharge their airtime.

His comment is coming after the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah alleged that the instant talk tax deductions by the telcos is a deliberate attempt to make the government unpopular.

But according to Ato Forson, Ghanaians have always known about the deductions after the recent increment in the CST.

Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Forson said the telcos adopted this strategy to avoid the accusation of cheating that has always been leveled against them by consumers.

“First of all, let me say that I strongly disagree with my colleague the Chairman of the Finance Committee in the sense that an increment of 50% is quite substantial and again it is important to know that Telcos have been charging this tax and it has been reflecting on our bills from day one. The difficulty is that often times Ghanaians blame the Telcos of that they buy credit and they have cheated them in the usage of the credit and so for that matter, it is important for them to show to all of us how much of this component goes into the credit itself and how much goes into taxes.”

“Let me say that if the government is afraid of such a tax, why did they introduce it in the first place? Is it not true that they have actually increased the CST by 50%, and that it was first introduced by the NPP government in 2008 and this administration has increased it by 50%?”

Allegations made by Dr Assibey Yeboah

Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah complained about the mode of implementation of the 9% increment in the Communication Service Tax by the telcos.

“The telcos want to make gov’t unpopular because why didn’t send the text mages of the deduction when the tax was 6 percent. They were paying the government and we knew how much we were collecting from them so if anybody tells me they were absolved by the Telcos, then that is absurd”, he said on Citi FM.

He argued that the operation of the telcos is an attempt to make the government unpopular.

Most Ghanaians have complained about the immediate tax deduction after they recharge.


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