Commissioner General of the General Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Kofi Nti, has observed that the tithes and offerings of churches are not taxable by the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Responding to whether the Authority has an intention of taxing churches, Mr Nti, however, indicated that GRA strives on intelligence, therefore pastors claiming to have multi-million properties should be ready for the GRA.
“GRA strives on intelligence, it is part of our job. Financial intelligence guides us in what that we do. Those who demonstrate that they are having posh houses and having pool of cars in their homes and they are prophet something, we are trailing them, and we are after them,” he said.
Mr Nti also told newsmen in Accra that businesses owned by churches are subject to tax.
“When the staff of the offices of the church like any other worker, they are subject to payee deduction and social security contribution,” he added.
He noted that the church like any other organisation when it gives a contracting job for a construction work, is supposed to withhold tax and the remit to the GRA.
Government’s move to widen its tax net to rake in more revenue is about to take a rather controversial turn as the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has announced its decision to tax churches which have turned their fellowships into a money-making venture.
This decision by the government has generated arguments among the Christian community since majority of the population is seen to be most religious with a dominant Christian population.
Some critics have said churches have over the years capitalized on their huge following to make money from their church services and other activities, hence government should focus on taxing them in its bid to widen the tax net.
But some leaders within the Christian fraternity have opposed the idea, insisting that the church is registered as charity organisations, all other business making ventures such as schools of these Churches pay tax to the government.