Government will not tax churches – Minister

The Government on Friday denied that the 2011 national budget would impose taxes on churches and mosques.

A statement issued in Accra by the Minister for Information, John Akologu Tia, described as “mischievous and untrue” claims by an Accra-based newspaper that the government’s budget for next year would impose taxes on religious bodies.

“I want to assure adherents of the various religions, including Christians and Muslims, that no tax has been imposed on churches and mosques under next year’s budget”, the Minister said.

It said the portion of the Budget statement that spoke about amending the law to tax all commercial activities of some institutions that enjoyed tax-free status had been “deliberately distorted”.

The portion in the budget stated: “Madam Speaker, some institutions enjoy tax-free status because of the original non-profit motive that established them.

However, in recent times, some of these institutions have expanded their scope of operations to include commercial activities, thereby making substantive profits but not paying taxes on them. Madam Speaker, government will amend the law to allow the Commissioner-General to tax all commercial activities undertaken by the affected institutions.”

Source: GNA

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