(Etcetera. Photo: Filed)
For the record, this article is not meant to give celebrities who don’t pay their taxes a pass. I think we all should pay what we legally owe, including those whose work puts us on the big screen, the sports field or in the recording studio.
But I do have an understanding of the multitude of reasons celebrities give for not paying tax. And I think you should too.
The Nigerian tax system is totally messed up… yes, messed up in all ramifications. I concur with the argument that monies generated from taxes in Nigeria are not judiciously used by the government. Or we haven’t seen what the money is being used for.
When singer and actress Lauryn Hill and other American artists pleaded guilty and even got incarcerated for tax evasion, a lot of you must have asked: “Why can’t our celebrities pay taxes like their American counterparts?”
But the real question is, how many Nigerians pay tax? As you are reading this article, I can bet that you probably don’t know where the LIRS or FIRS offices are in your local government.
So before you all jump on the government-must-tax-Nigerian-entertainers bandwagon, a few important points are worth noting.
Most Nigerian entertainers are evading tax, not because they intentionally want to, but because they don’t know their taxable income. Likewise, the Nigerian government, through all its tax agencies, is losing billions of naira every year from the entertainment industry because they are yet to discover a proper structure for taxation of the industry.
I know it seems like a great thing to take home a million-naira plus pay cheque for singing a song, starring in a TV show or making a movie. And I’m sure the financial perks and other benefits of stardom aren’t lost on celebrities. But think for a moment about what …Read More
Source:: The NET