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Don't tax content creators, the sector is still growing - Kwadwo Sheldon
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Don't tax content creators, the sector is still growing - Kwadwo Sheldon

Ghanaian YouTuber and content creator, Kwadwo Sheldon has voiced his opposition to a proposal by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to tax content creators in Ghana earning foreign income from their activities on the internet.

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In 2023, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) announced plans to tax individuals earning foreign income on the internet, particularly targeting content creators and influencers on global platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, X [Twitter] and Snapchat among others.

To the GRA, Ghana’s income tax law mandates all income earners to file their taxes and that included bloggers, brand influencers, content creators and others.

In an interview with BBC Africa and monitored by Graphic Online, Kwadwo Sheldon expressed concerns stating that such taxation would adversely affect the content creation industry which is still growing. 

“For me, it is unfavourable to us… we are building, it is not buoyant yet. So if you keep taxing us, how much are we going to earn at the end of the day? Also, I am in a space and when you go to Social Blade, you see the average earnings of every creator. Not every content creator you see getting views on Facebook is breaking bread or is breaking even,” he stated.

“Now, even before the YouTube money comes in, they will take their own. The US government will take their own. At the end of the day, let’s say you earn $1,000 a month, you will be walking home with $500,” he added.

Sheldon argued that implementing additional taxes would significantly reduce the earnings of content creators, hampering the growth of the industry.

Despite the misconception that content creators do not pay taxes, Sheldon clarified that they do so through alternative means such as advertising for brands.

He also highlighted the taxation incurred when paying employees and working with brands, emphasising the substantial taxes already being paid.

“We have people that we work with, when we pay them they file their personal taxes and we make sure it is paid. When we make money from brands, they take a VAT, everything. So it’s not like we are not paying. We are paying and you are introducing more. So at the end of the day, what you get is a paltry sum,” he explained.

Sheldon suggested that the government should follow Nigeria and Kenya's example by negotiating with platforms like Facebook to allow monetisation in Ghana before imposing taxes.

He emphasised that enabling monetisation would incentivize content creators to produce more, ultimately benefiting the government in the long run.

“When you go to Nigeria recently, their government liased with the owners of Facebook to open up for their content creators to make money. Kenya, they did the same. What has our government done? Nothing.

“It will motivate them (content creators) to create, so that when they create and make the money you can come in for your bread. I am saying that we should be exempt from it, the creator economy is not buoyant enough,” he said.

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