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Popular Ghanaian YouTuber, Kwadwo Sheldon, asserts that the government should not tax content creators in the nation because the creative economy is still in its early phases.

He claims that Ghanaian content producers have difficulties making money off of their work on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others.

According to him, Ghanaian content makers exclusively earn money on YouTube, where their profits are guaranteed but fall short of expectations despite being present on other social media platforms.

Speaking to BBC’s Daniel Dadzie, Kwadwo Sheldon said “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.”

“We are building, it’s 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 explained.

Contrary to popular assumption, content creators did not previously pay direct tax on earnings; nevertheless, they did pay other taxes. This was stated by Kwadwo Sheldon.

Furthermore, he said, creators who have hired people pay them and make sure their taxes are filed.

“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.”

“When you go to Nigeria recently, their government talked 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,” Kwadwo Sheldon noted.

In 2023, the GRA announced that it was expanding its tax collection base to include influencers, bloggers, content creators, MCs and others.

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

Kwadwo Sheldon, however, said that rather than pursuing artists with low incomes, the government may cut spending if it is adamant about raising revenue.

He thinks that taxes on content creators’ earnings won’t have a significant impact on the income source.

“How much are you going to earn from the content creators that you want to tax that badly? How much? Tell me. Even the E-Levy that they introduced, they came to tell us that the money that they expected to make from, they didn’t make it,” Kwadwo Sheldon added.

The YouTuber urged the government to communicate to the proprietors of social media sites like Facebook and Instagram in order to create the space necessary for their earnings to grow, just like Ghana’s neighbors have done.

“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,” Kwadwo Shelson added.

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