It is not favorable to us – Kwadwo Sheldon on government decision to tax content creators

Ghanaian YouTuber Kwadwo Sheldon has spoken out against the government’s proposal to tax Ghanaians earning foreign income.

The Ghana Revenue Agency (GRA) recently unveiled plans to levy taxes on Ghanaians with foreign income, a move that would impact content creators and influencers in Ghana who earn money on global platforms like YouTube, X, Snapchat, among others.

In an interview with BBC’s Daniel Dadzie, Sheldon expressed his concerns, stating that such a measure would negatively affect the content creation industry. He elaborated that content creators already face challenges in monetizing their content due to existing taxes and deductions on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Sheldon emphasized that Ghanaian content creators often do not earn as much as perceived because of these deductions.

He argued, “‘For me, it is unfavorable to us…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. 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.”

Sheldon also addressed the misconception that content creators do not pay taxes, noting that they contribute through alternative means such as advertising for brands and ensuring their employees file taxes.

“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.

He urged the government to follow Nigeria and Kenya’s example by negotiating with platforms like Facebook to enable monetization in Ghana before implementing taxation. Sheldon believes this approach would motivate content creators to produce more, ultimately benefiting both creators and the government.

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