Deputy Finance Minister proposes taxation for online trading companies like Facebook, YouTube, others 



Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Alex Ampaabeng has suggested that online trading companies, both local and international, should be taxed to support the economy. He emphasized that these companies generate significant revenue from their Ghanaian clients, making taxation essential.


In an interview with Bernard Avle on Channel One TV’s *The Point of View*, Dr. Ampaabeng highlighted several potential revenue sources for Ghana, including online businesses and content creation companies. He questioned why 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.


“I can’t think of a country which has not gotten a digital service tax system of some sort, so Ghana is long overdue,” Dr. Ampaabeng said. “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.”


He further explained, “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.”


Dr. Ampaabeng underscored that revenues generated in Ghana are subject to taxes. “We have Facebook, TikTok and all those players, these are digital platform owners,” he said.


He also mentioned online trading companies such as Jiji, Jumia, and Tonaton, which he believes are larger than all physical marketplaces in Ghana combined. “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 explained.


Dr. Ampaabeng 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 suggested.

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