Politics

Deputy Finance Minister pushing for TikTok, YouTube, Facebook to be taxed

A Deputy Finance Minister, Dr Alex Ampaabeng, is proposing for digital platforms like YouTube, Facebook and many others to be taxed to bolster the country’s economy.

The deputy finance minister believes that these digital commercial platforms, together with online trading companies both local and international, must be taxed as they generate huge revenues from their Ghanaian clients.

Dr Ampaabeng quizzed why other companies operating in Ghana are taxed yet digital platforms like YouTube and Facebook that run numerous advertisements are currently excluded from the Ghanaian tax system.

He cited companies like Jiji, Jumia, and Tonaton, which he believes surpass all physical marketplaces in Ghana in terms of size and revenue they rake in from operations.

“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.

“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,” Dr Ampaabeng said in a report on citinewsroom.com.

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

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