People in the creative arts sector will soon receive education on their tax obligations.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture workshops will be organised from now to December, 2018 so the artists are thoroughly educated on the modalities involved in the payment of tax.
In the wake of this, creative artists have been granted some grace period of exemption from tax payment until they understand what the whole system entails especially as regards their trade.
In a statement signed by the Minister, Catherine Abelema Afeku, the ministry “has agreed with the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) that until such time that artists have been educated on their tax obligations, they will be given a moratorium.”
The statements adds: “In this connection, the Ministry announces for the information of all players in the creative arts sector that it has received assurances from the Ministry of Finance and the GRA to the effect that between now and end of December 2018, workshops will be organized to educate artistes on their tax obligations, generally, and why it is the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian who earns an income to pay tax.”
This new move was precipitated by an allegation made by some actors like Mercy Asiedu, Kwadwo Nkansah Lilwin that the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had come after them to pay taxes on all the works they did in the past.
The actors who were unyielding to action said the government had not fulfilled its promises to them, hence did not see the need to pay taxes.
Tourism Minister, therefore, led a group of artists, Akorfa Edjeani, Yvonne Nelson, Lilwin, Idikoko and Oscar Provencale to meet the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta for a discussion on the matter.
Catherine Afeku, in the statement also indicated that she met with the Commissioner-General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Kofi Nti who agreed to give the artists some grace period until they gain education on what the computations and modalities of the payment.
“The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture can assure the general public that the government has listened to the country’s artists and taken into account their apprehensions and demands.”
“As a Government, we appreciate the significant role played by the creative arts sector and their immeasurable contribution to the creative economy, and we shall continue to create the space for the industry to flourish,” the statement further noted.
In the meantime “…the Ministry announces for the information of all players in the creative arts sector that it has received from the Ministry of Finance and the GRA to the effect that between now and the end of December, 2018, workshops will be organised to educate artistes on their tax obligations, generally, and why it is the civic responsibility of every Ghanaian who earns an income to pay tax.”