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Churches should be taxed – Government challenged

Chief Executive officer for True Vine Hotel Rev Mark Adu Gyamfi has challenged that churches should be made to pay taxes on every income they earn from church activities as done in western countries.
Every necessary enforcement required from government to ensure  that they (churches) are not left out so long as payment of revenues needed for the development of the country is concerned according to the renowned clergy should be set in motion without delay.
Rev Mark Adu Gyamfi in a hot chart with PRESS RADIO newspaper based his call on the prolific commercialization of the word  of God by majority of preachers in the country who are amassing wealth in the name of church service to the disadvantage of the poor.
A higher percentage of the clergy he indicated are purely running their churches as business and a money making venture especially “one-man” churches.
Characteristically, churches falling within this category he brought to light offer no contribution to the development of the country as in the building of schools, hospitals, library and other public facilities but are rather bent on enriching themselves through the sales of anointing oil, holy water, pls other religious materials.
“Most of these pastors are often seen in flashy vehicles and expensive mansions with no visible contribution whatsoever towards the development of our various communities unlike the orthodox churches.
” If you are running a church that is fine and i have no problem with that because you are spreading the gospel but if you are using the money of the church to work then you are entitled to pay taxes” he challenged.
He continued that the current system vis-a-vis the evasion of tax payment by churches in Ghana is really not helping the development of the country, defending that “this cannot be done in western countries. You will be imprisoned for not paying tax”.
He cited that in England, monies made by churches are controlled by a Charity Commission  and churches are made to present their accounts to the commission every year.
Everything done by churches he stressed are scrutinised by government and should be applied in Ghana.
“Churches in Ghana should not be permitted to do what they want in the name of God” he advised government.
Source: www.thepressradio.com / Enock Akonnor

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