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Religion of Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Source: Class FM

Clergy, government inching towards religious tax

Some religious leaders who met with President Akufo-Addo to discuss issues of national interest

Religious leaders and the Government of Ghana have agreed to set up a body that will ensure that religious institutions pay taxes on the income they generate.

On Wednesday, 29 August 2018, President Nana Akufo-Addo met with members of the clergy at the seat of government, the Jubilee House, to discuss issues of national interest and to solicit their views on government's plans and programmes.

Rev. Victor Osei, Senior Pastor of the Family Chapel in Kumasi and Vice-President of the National Association of Charismatic Churches, addressing the press after the closed session with the president, indicated that a body is to be set up within weeks that will regulate the taxing of religious establishments.

"The religious community is much more than the Church. We tend to forget that it includes Muslims, Bahia ... Eastern religions are all part of religious bodies. Normally, people just talk about the Church, but for all these bodies, some monies come out and some monies come in, so, at the end of the day, it should be all inclusive. All these things were spoken about and we know the way forward is going to be good," Rev. Victor Osei said.

Churches, according to Rev. Osei, already pay taxes as individuals and also on businesses they run.

The task of the proposed regulatory body will be to develop measures that will rope in all other churches who may be evading the payment of statutory taxes required of them.

President Akufo-Addo, in his opening remarks before the closed door session with the clergy, said he is looking forward to meeting with the clergy on periodic basis to discuss issues of public interest.

"I am hoping that what we are doing here today is going to be a regular feature of my government, so a couple of times a year, we have the opportunity to meet and hear your considerations and you will also hear the things that are on the heart and mind of government," the President said.

Among the clergy were Archbishop Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cape Coast; Bishop Charles Agyinasare, Presiding Bishop of Perez Chapel International; Rev. Clement Anchebah of the Fountain Gate Chapel International; Bishop Gideon Titi-Offei, Senior Pastor of the Pleasant Place Church; Evangelist Lawrence Tetteh; Rev. Michael Boadi Nyamekye of the Makers House Chapel International; Prophet Owusu Bempah, Senior Pastor of the Glorious Word Power Church, amongst others.

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