Religious bodies must pay tax — Rev. Adu-Gyamfi
A suggestion has been made to religious bodies in the country, which are doing business in addition to their religious work, to pay tax.
The founder of the New Life Church, London, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reshview International, London, Rev. Mark Adu-Gyamfi, said this at the just-ended Economic Summit organised by the Ministry of Information in Kumasi.
Rev. Adu-Gyamfi was one of the resource persons at the summit which was on the theme: ‘Assessing the growth, jobs and prosperity agenda’.
Tax and churches
Rev. Adu-Gyamfi noted that tax was the only avenue that enabled governments all over the world to realise revenues for development.
He stressed that it would be prudent for many of such churches in the country to pay taxes on the enterprises established in addition to their church activities.
He noted that "taxation is the price of development," and that was why it was incumbent on the government to widen the tax net base to cover a lot of people so that more revenue would be realised.
He was of the view that the country's development should be seen as paramount, so Ghanaians had to support any effort to help their country in the race of development.
He added that in the United Kingdom (UK) all churches had been registered and worked under the Charity Commission, to which they referred their yearly accounts.
He said in Ghana, the orthodox churches and some other pentecostal churches were putting up schools and universities in the name of God and that was also their contribution to the country's development efforts.
Rev. Adu-Gyamfi observed that there were some churches in the country whose leaders were making capital out of the ignorance of their members and were exploiting them by taking huge sums of money from them to lead luxurious and ostentatious lives.
He said it was time the government learnt from the example of Rwanda, where some churches had been closed down, while others had submitted their accounts for scrutiny.
Rev. Adu-Gyamfi, however, said it was not his intention to castigate any church, but he was just sharing the experiences he acquired in Britain that had gained from the taxes of churches.
He called on the Christian Council and the Peace Council to join that crusade for churches to pay tax for development.
He appealed to all churches to also embrace the idea so as to maintain their legitimacy in the Ghanaian society.