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Tax on religious institutions not targeting churches- GRA

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The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) says tax laws to be rolled out for religious institutions is not targeting churches alone but traditional leaders, shrines, Mallams and all other bodies which render service and receive some form of financial returns.
According to the GRA, the core income of churches such as tithes and offerings are exempt from taxes.
The debate about whether churches should pay taxes has been reignited in recent times following activities of some pastors who in most instances portray aspects of their service which are considered as profitable business ventures.
A lecturer at the Ghana Revenue Authority Training School, Lawrence Hotsonyame, speaking on GBC’s Current Affairs Programmes “Focus” said the new GRA Act 2015, confers on the Commissioner General upon application from religious bodies, which are public in nature, to give approval for them to be exempt from tax.
The Ghana Revenue Authority has to study application of the church and its constitution before granting the exemption.
Mr. Hotsonyame said Pastors who take consultation fee or service fee are also supposed to disclose such fees to the Ghana Revenue Authority to be taxed.
A Rev. Minister with the E.P. Church of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Daniel Bruce said the church is not against taxation because the bible recognises the importance of tax to national development.
He said the church will continue to support government in the quest to raise revenue for national development.

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