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General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Source: GNA

Pastor says Pastors should pay tax

Kumasi, July 15, GNA - A cleric has suggested that Pastors should be made to pay tax to the state as they also earned income like other workers.

The Reverend Joseph Gyimah, Leader of the True Light of Christ Church, told the GNA in an interview that Pastors would be honouring their civic responsibility to the State by paying up their taxes. He, however, said it would not be proper to ask the church, as a religious institution, to pay taxes.

''Since the church is not merely infrastructure and buildings but is made up of members who pay tax it will not be prudent to ask the church to pay tax again.

"Apart from members paying taxes the church, as an institution, also contributes to the development of various sectors of the society by establishing schools and clinics. It also assists the needy and street children in various forms."

Rev Gyimah said since tithes and church collections were funds from which Pastors' salaries and allowances were paid and with which development projects were executed it would be unfair to demand that taxes should be paid on such monies.

He said there were some churches that generate monies from tithes and collections but did not contribute anything in the form of assisting in community development, neither did they also assist the needy in anyway. Rev Gyimah appealed to such churches to take a second look at their activities with the view to channelling funds generated from tithes, church collection and harvests into providing basic amenities for the communities in which they operated.