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Graphic Online 

GRA gathering intelligence to tax extravagant 'men of God'

BY: Graphic.com.gh
Taxes: GRA gathering intelligence on 'men of God'
The Commissioner General of the General Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti

The Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti has revealed that his outfit is on the trail of preachers who flaunt their personal wealth.

According to him, the GRA charged with the task of assessing, collecting and accounting for tax revenue in Ghana is currently gathering financial intelligence on preachers who demonstrate that they possess a fleet of ostentatious cars and glitzy houses.

He said: "GRA thrives on intelligence, it's part of our job. Financial intelligence guides us in the work that we do and it's not everything that we do that we have to go out there making noise about them but then, those who demonstrate that they are having some posh houses and are having a number of... A pool of cars in their homes and they are prophets, we are trailing them and we are after them.

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"And a time will come when we will be able to say look, maybe we went after an Angel, we went after an Apostle, we went after a prophet and the rest and we are at them," Mr Nti warned.

The Commissioner General of the General Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti

Churches involved in business are subject to tax

Mr Nti explained that, although the tithes and offerings collected by churches from congregants are exempted, their business activities are subject to taxing regime.

According to him, business transactions involving churches including construction contracts are subject to withholding taxes.

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He stated: "To the extent that a church gets itself involved in a business transaction or in business, the business is subject to tax. And when there are staff of the offices of a church, the church workers are like every other worker at any other place.

"They are subject to payee deduction and social security contribution and the church like any other organisation when it gives a construct job... a contracting job for a construction work, it is supposed to withhold tax and then remit to the GRA.

"When it comes to their tithes and offerings, those areas we believe they are no-go areas for the GRA and that one is understandable. Outside of that the church is treated like any other person".