The Chief Revenue Officer of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Dominic Naab has disclosed that persons in the creative industry will be taxed based on their lifestyles.
He made the statement on Friday November 23 at the Accra Tourism Information Center during a Tax Sensitization workshop.
According to Mr. Naab, celebrities all over the world are taxed based on their lifestyles and the same formula will be applied here in Ghana.
“The GRA will see to it that persons in the creative arts pay their tax because they earn a lot and live expensive lifestyles” he said.
He explained that actors or persons in the creative industry need to come to the offices of GRA and explain for example if they are given gifts in the form of a car, a house or anything valuable.
“We tax based on the expensive cars the creative people drive so the onus lies on them to explain to us that the cars or the expensive lifestyle are all sponsored by other people” he said.
Mr Naab’s statement did not go down with actors Martha Ankomah, Gloria Osei Sarfo, Beverly Afaglo, Bob Smith among other creative persons who were present at the workshop.
According to Martha Ankomah, it is not right to be taxed on her lifestyle when she is being sponsored by other people.
“How do you know whether I rented the car or the car I am driving belongs to a friend? The fact that I take pictures at an expensive place doesn’t mean I am living an expensive lifestyle” she stated.
For Bob Smith, the creative arts industry is not vibrant enough to be paying tax. “Some of us have not shot movies in a long while. So how do you expect someone like me to pay tax? I think more explanations have to be done” he said.
Actress Beverly Afaglo was of the view that the whole taxation process has to be explained well for the understanding of every artiste or anyone in the creative arts.
“I personally disagree with how GRA wants the creative arts people to pay tax. Some of the creative people have well to do families who support them and GRA can’t tax them because they live expensive lifestyles. Displaying your expensive lifestyle is not enough to tax us” she stated
Rex Omar, Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) said if the system works well elsewhere then creative people will have to oblige. “But as it stands now, explanations have not gone down well on why we should pay tax”.
Other persons in the creative industry who attended the workshop were actors Adjetey Annang, Paa George, Yvonne Nelson, Jackie Appiah, Van Vicker, Nana Ama McBrown, Gloria Osei Sarfo, movie producer Abdul Salam Mumuni among other personalities.