PETALING JAYA: Despite the occasional stories about Malaysian celebrities evading income tax, Persatuan Seniman Malaysia has made clear that only about 10% of its members are “doing well” financially.
The rest of them are struggling to make ends meet, said Rozaidi Abdul Jamil, better known as Zed Zaidi, who is president of the 6,000-strong Seniman.
Asked about recent reports that even a three-year-old girl, who is a daughter of a celebrity couple, was paying taxes for the first time, he said: “It does not make sense for children to pay taxes but based on the current policy, they will have to do it.”
Although some might find it odd that children have to pay taxes, he said it is one’s responsibility to do so.
“For us in the creative industry, there is no standard pay as there is no governing law to protect us,” he said.
He added that payment to artistes could be thousands of ringgit for a movie but those who are more popular could command hundreds of thousands of ringgit just to perform a few songs.
“It depends on your popularity and how good you are at negotiating,” he said in an interview.
Zed said that Seniman was willing to be the middle person between the artistes and the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) in tax-related matters.
“Most of them are not accountants and they do not know the details. We hope IRB can help us by explaining it to us,” he said.
Actor Awal Ashaari said his daughter Lara Alana, three, earned an income last year.
“As parents, we do not ask for a big amount for our daughter but if she appears on TV, ads or act as an ambassador, I think the authorities know that she is making an income,” he said.
His lawyers, he said, have advised them to register her as a taxpayer.
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