Wednesday, 03 June

Don’t charge VAT, GETfund, NHIL levies on electricity – Minority

Adam Mutawakilu

The Minority in Parliament has asked for the withdrawal of a directive from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to power sector firms to charge VAT, GETfund and NHIL levies on electricity they sell to the Electricity Company of Ghana.

A letter from the GRA dated 4 May 2020 announced the directives, indicating that such services will no longer be zero-rated.

The GRA issued the directive after sighting a notice dated March 13, 2001, which waives VAT on electricity supplied to ECG.

The GRA said the agreement is contrary to the Value Added Tax, 2013 (Act 870) which does not list supply of energy and capacity charge as one of the items that should be zero-rated.

“It has come to our notice that some electricity producing and power supplying companies do charge VAT, GETfund and NHL, at zero rates to the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited contrary to the Value Added Tax Act, 2013 (Act 870).”

“We wish to state that Section 36 of the Act which provides for zero-rating of supply refers to the Second Schedule of the Act. However, the Second Schedule of the Act did not list supply of energy and capacity charge as one of the items that should be zero-rated,” GRA said in a statement signed by its Acting Commissioner-General, Ammishadai Owusu-Amoah.

But the MP for Damongo, who is also the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu said this move will lead to an increase in the cost of electricity to unbearable levels.

“You are all aware that on the 9th of April, President Nana Addo addressed the nation with respect to COVID-19. In that address, he did indicate that consumers of electricity will be given a relief of 50%. Ghanaians welcomed it wholeheartedly and he did indicate that it will take effect from 1st May even though many consumers were not able to access that relief on the given date.”

“What Ghanaians did not know and more particularly, residential consumers who are the majority of consumers is that President Nana Akufo-Addo was giving the residential consumers the relief on the right hand and using the left hand to take back the relief.

“On May 4, 2020, a letter from GRA directed ECG to charge GETFund levy, National Health Insurance Scheme and VAT on residential consumers of electricity and that means that if you do the arithmetic, consumers will be paying 18.125% more on what they are consuming currently. We call on GRA to withdraw the levy,” Mutawakilu told the media in Parliament.