The President of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), Reverend Paul Frimpong-Manso, has said, he does not support the call for government to tax offering and tithe collected by the various Christian bodies.
Rather, he said, government should strengthen the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to identify churches that operate businesses on the side and tax them, to increase the country’s revenue mobilisation for national development.
Speaking to Ghanaian Times in an interview last week Saturday on the sideline of a farewell and induction service in Accra, Reverend Frimpong-Manso said, already members of the congregation whose contributions were used to run the daily activities of the church pay taxes to the government.
He said the staff employed by most members of the GPCC including himself pays their income tax, while the church after paying their expenses, used the remaining contributions for humanitarian projects in support of government.
Reverend Frimpong-Manso said, even in some advance countries, the state supports the church with back-taxes.
He explained that, such taxes were used to support their humanitarian projects, stressing that, “in Ghana chunk of the monies collected by the Church were used for building schools, hospitals, provide portable water, support and needy children among others.”
“But when churches run businesses, the business should be taxed. So for instance, if a church like Assemblies of God has opened a school or clinic.
It is the responsibility of the State to compel them to pay tax, because I always say that I support when the church pay tax on any businesses that they operate,” he said.
He urged the church to pay tax from their businesses as well as the income taxes of persons they employ to avoid tax evision.
The newly elected General Secretary, Apostle Immanuel Nii Okuley Tettey, promised to strengthen the unity among the various religious member organisations of GPCC, and called for their support.
He noted that, he would continue the good work embarked upon by his predecessors to attract more membership to the Council,and vowed to be guided by regulations instituted by the Council.
Apostle Immanuel Nii OkuleyTettey, who succeeded Reverend Emmanuel Teimah Barrigah, holds a Bachelor of Science in Development Planning, and a Master of Science, Development Policy and Planning from University of Science and Technology (UST), now known as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
BY BERNARD BENGHAN