Facebook, Youtube, online trading companies must be taxed – Deputy Finance Minister

Facebook, Youtube, online trading companies must be taxed – Deputy Finance Minister

The Deputy Finance Minister Dr Alex Ampaabeng, has proposed that online trading companies should be taxed to bolster the economy.

He noted that these companies, both local and international, generate significant revenue from their Ghanaian clients, which underscores the necessity for taxation.

In an interview with Bernard Avle on Channel One TV’s The Point of View, Dr Ampaabeng pointed out various potential revenue sources for Ghana, including online businesses and content creation companies.

He questioned why other national companies operating in Ghana are taxed, but social media platforms like Youtube and Facebook, which run numerous advertisements, are not included in the Ghanaian tax system.

According to him, these social media companies earn profits from the advertisements they display, and online trading companies also generate income from the sale of their products and services.

He mentioned online trading companies such as Jiji, Jumia, and Tonaton, which he believes surpass all physical marketplaces in Ghana in size.

According to him, “I can’t think of a country which has not gotten a digital service tax system of some sort, so Ghana is long overdue. Just to make an example so that people will appreciate where I’m coming from. Go to Youtube and play a video, within one or two minutes, you are going to watch about two, or three adverts.”

“What it tells you is that Facebook or Youtube is making profits right here in Ghana. Go to your Facebook account, and you are going to see a number of adverts on your right, left. What it is telling you is that Facebook is making profits right here in Ghana and not being taxed. Meanwhile, there are companies operating in Ghana, for jurisdiction reasons, of course, that are being taxed,” he said.

The Deputy Minister added that “So then, it comes to the question of the application of our tax laws. Revenues generated in Ghana are subject to taxes. We have Facebook, TikTok and all those players, these are digital platform owners.”

He stressed, “Then we have the digital or market players, here we are talking about individuals who are using the digital platforms. We have Jiji, Jumia, Tonaton, these combined, are bigger than all physical marketplaces in Ghana. And it tells you the volume of transactions, that are going on there.”

He expressed his hope that individuals earning online profits from Ghanaian residents would be taxed.

“There are conversations ongoing, I wouldn’t want to pre-empt anything, maybe in the future, it might not be anytime soon, what I would like to see, is a Ghana where people who are earning all forms of profits in the country are subject to taxes. People who are trading online to Ghanaian residents, people who are generating revenue from Ghana are allowed to pay taxes,” he noted.

Additionally, he proposed a collaboration with the government to curb cybercrime by registering and verifying these online trading companies.

“We can have a system where the government engages these operators, so individuals will submit their Ghana Card and are registered and verified,”he concluded.

Source: Citinewsroom.com

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