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National Players Should Be Tax Exempted! No Pension Plan, No Deductions   
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On the 12th February, 2010, the whole world became aware of the fact that the Ghana Black Stars players have been exempted from tax deduction, not by the Government, according to Mr. K.N.S Mensah’s (Goal.com) article entitled, “IRS Chase Ghana Players For Tax Bonuses.”

According to Mr. Mensah, Major Ablorh-Quarcoo, the former IRS Chairman, brought the idea as the Black Stars Players should not be exempted from their Angola 2010 African Cup of Nations bonuses.
Permit me to begin this article with some vital questions.

How many retired Black Stars players alive at the moment? How is their welfare? How much retirement benefits have these ex-national players received from either the GFA or the Ghana government since the very day they retired? According to our heroes, the ex-national players, not a single retirement plan has been set in place for them.

My question is who is responsible to correct this wrong? At the moment, has the Government done anything in terms of retirement plans for these heroes and the current national players? If not, then why are we calling the government to deduct taxes from these players’ bonuses?

Tax deduction from earnings is not a new thing in Ghana, which most citizens are aware of. Therefore, why this particular law has never been enforced, if and I mean, if the Government has such a law in effect? According to Africaonline24.com research conducted, these players are foreign based. Further researched was discovered that these players are not even included in the Ghana Government Employment list. Therefore, how can the country tax an employee who is not on the country’s employment list to begin with? There is no such law as of now.

Why did the retired IRS boss, Major Ablorh-Quarcoo wait till now before bringing this issue out? Like a friend stated, “If Mr Ablorh-Quarcoo raises these issues then he must have paid all of his taxes up to date and also on all items taxable.” Guess what, Major Ablorh- Quarcoo’s profiles have been removed from Google.com and other sites, as well, since 8th February, 2010.

It was deleted just last week! Why is it that? Why has this man’s profile been deleted? Does he have something in his closet? You see, the bible is not far from the truth, when it says, “Your sins will find you out.” When did Major Ablorh-Quarcoo retired? How long did he stay on that post as IRS Chairman before stepped down? Wasn’t he the boss of IRS some years back? What did he do when he was the head of the IRS administration? Why didn’t he enforce this particular law?
He has to be Arrested, with a capital “A” for interrogation, unless, there wasn’t any such law established during his term as the IRS Boss.

Why the Government didn’t deduct any amount for taxes from the 2006 WC bonus? Nothing like that was mentioned in terms of 2006 WC bonuses. Therefore, why now? Secondly, in a country like US, the taxes are deducted before an employee receives his or her net income.

If, in any case, the employer was not able to deduct the required tax from a certain gross income or a bonus or even a retirement withheld, such as 401K, it is the employer’s responsibility to advice the employee to contact IRS for proper tax deduction from that earning. In other words, an approximate percentage is put aside by the employee for tax purpose. IRS comes in and collects the required tax and sometimes with interest. For that matter, we all understand, however, not when the law has never been enforced, or even been established, by any one.

Please read below and you will find an example of how IRS executes its new laws.

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has released new withholding tables that will result in more take-home pay this spring for millions of American workers. The new tables incorporate the new Making Work Pay credit, one of the key tax provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that became law earlier this week. "For most taxpayers, the additional credit will automatically start showing up in their paychecks this spring," said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "Since employers and payroll companies will handle this change, people typically won't need to take any additional action. The IRS will continue working to implement this and other provisions of the new law as quickly as possible." Source from IRS (USA).

When an implemented law is about to be executed, the lawmakers inform the citizens as the above paragraph indicated. In short, details of deductions are broadcasted then responsible administration, as well as parties involve, enforce it. That is how laws are carried out into complete effect.

When was the last time the players were informed concerning tax deductions from their bonuses after each tournament? Is this their first bonus? If it is, then why didn’t the government or GFA inform them before the tournament? Why sat till now to bring such issue before the public, Major Ablorh-Quarcoo?

Major Ablorh- Quarcoo, why now? What made him waited until after he had retired before blowing the horn? Is this former boss telling the country that Abedi Pele, Anthony Yeboh, Tony Bafuor, Samuel Osei Kufuor, and the rest, who made huge amounts in their football professions, paid no tax to the country? This is why the country is broke! What was Major Ablorh-Quarcoo doing then as the chairman of the IRS if he knew this idea would have helped both the country and the individual players?

Now, to the players, no one is above the law. Moreover, "ignorance is not an excuse of the law" as Doctor Michael Nii Clottey reminded me. Therefore, since they contribute to their respective clubs’ countries by paying taxes, they should do the same by paying their shares to their own country.

Taxes are paid according to how much a person earns. These national players are Ghanaian citizens, and earn salaries or bonuses from the country’s assignments. They should not find it outrageous to pay taxes from those bonuses.

On the contrary, this should be done when they have found out that a retirement package plan is being implemented for their future purposes. As Mr. Micheal Korsah-Brown pointed out, “If Government agrees to enforce the law, then government must pay 12 ˝ percent of social security to these players in the future.” Based on the tax percentage Mr. Korsah-Brown indicated, the government would have to invest on the taxes taken from these players and give it back to them during their retirement days. Other than that, the players should also be exempted from paying taxes through their bonuses like the cocoa farmers, the shoe shiners, the carpenters, the truck pushers, the Banka to Banka lottery winners, etc. do.

After all, what is the reason behind the government not having a retirement plan for these players but requires them to pay taxes? Is it because the young men earned so much than the rest in the country? For the fact that they make hefty bonuses shouldn’t give us the opportunity to discriminate against them in terms of tax payments.

To me, if we want to point fingers, I think we should begin from the head, because as a saying goes, “when a fish is about to spoil, it begins from no where but the head.” Therefore, the Government should establish a retirement package for these heroes and the country will be richer than it is today. No Pension Plan, No Tax Deductions, National Players should be exempted from tax deductions.
In all things, “Get Understanding, get Wisdom,
Source: Ransford Peprah Email: [email protected] http://www.africaonline24.com

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