Rwanda to start taxing athletes, artistes

Rwandan budding female singer Diana Teta says the government ought to support them before taxing them

Rwandan budding female singer Diana Teta says the government ought to support them before taxing them

For long many local artistes and sports men and women have enjoyed incomes from their talent without a penny paid in taxes, but the government is soon putting an end to this long break by making sure they pay their dues.

Richard Tusabe, the Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Monday announced that the tax body will start tapping into this new base starting 2016.

Musicians, film and music producers, and sportsmen and women are some of the potential first time taxpayers.

Tusabe explained that “the reason behind the move is because the entertainment sector has grown over the years and is a good source of revenue for the nation.”

Like other tax payers, this means that these categories will have to be registered as tax payers with Rwanda revenue body, declare taxes, pay annual taxes, value added tax, and claim a 15 percent withhold tax on any separate business transacted with other persons.

Some local artistes are obviously not happy with the development saying that the decision should be given more scrutiny and re-evaluated.

Diana Teta, Rwanda’s promising female singer said that “the move needs to be revisited and the government should also look in ways of promoting and supporting the entertainment industry in order to have revenue collected.”

In the meantime, film producers say that RRA and the judiciary should first protect their products on the local market, by giving them copyrights and serial numbers which will enable them to bring in more taxable income.