No law says churches should pay tax and I can’t force them to – Religious Affairs Minister-designate

The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister-designate has stated that he cannot compel churches to pay tax if mandated as Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.

Ebenezer Kojo Kum told Parliament’s Appointment Committee during his vetting Friday, that per the laws of the state, churches are not mandated to pay tax for religious activities, therefore, his outfit cannot act contrary to the laws by compelling churches to do so.

“Churches, when they operate as churches are not amenable to pay taxes,” he told the Committee.

This follows a controversial debate as to whether churches should pay taxes or not.

A school of thought are of the view that since churches generate income from offerings and other monetary gains from the church, they should be compelled by the state to pay taxes.

Others are also of the view that since churches operate as religious entities, they should not be mandated to pay taxes.

However, wading into the argument, the Ahanta West MP said churches should not pay taxes unless they operate other businesses which are not related to religious activities.

He also noted that “when Priests or members of religious bodies receive salaries or remunerations, they’re supposed to pay income tax on those salaries.”

“But to ask them to pay taxes based on the other work that they do, which is unrelated to religious activities, the law permits those payments to be made,” he said.

He further urged the Ghana Revenue Authority to strictly ensure that churches carry out charitable activities with gains from the church as required of them.

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