Ghana is applying a tax on mobile money transaction values since May 1st, 2022. A scoping trip by the DIGITAX team shows that many stakeholders strongly disagree with the tax and that some of them changed how they use mobile money. Consequently, the government is collecting much less than expected from the e-levy. Even if media articles and some research studies investigated the potential effects of the e-levy of users and the level of acceptance among citizens, no robust analysis has been done on the tax after several months of implementation. Building on the work of Anyidoho et al. (2022), there is a need to expand beyond the informality scope to include other parts of society while also examining any discrepancies in data collected after about six months of implementation. Moreover, beyond the level of acceptance the factors explaining people’s acceptance and perceptions of the e-levy matter. Indeed, this would be a valuable information for policy-makers to redesign the implementation of mobile money taxes. Apart from aspects related to perceptions, the e-levy could differently impact users according to many social, economic, or demographic characteristics, making it crucial to study the equity implications of the tax. Finally, since the main objective of the e-levy is to collect more tax revenue, it is relevant to assess the contributory capacity of the tax in different scenarios.

The Digitax programme is uniquely placed to provide novel evidence on DFS taxation and explore important dimensions. With this project, we aim to answer the following main research questions: What are the economic, social, and fiscal implications of Ghana’s e-levy on users? From that question arise three specific sub-questions: (1) What are people’s perceptions of the e-levy in terms of its design, implementation, and proposed potential changes to it; in relation to other taxes? (2) What are the determinants of people’s perceptions of the e-levy? (3) What is the effect of the e-levy in terms of revenue mobilisation, and how equitably or inequitably is the tax burden of the e-levy distributed? (4) What would be the effects of potential future changes to the e-levy’s design?