Churches finally agree to pay taxes

Religious leaders in Ghana have finally agreed to pay taxes on their income-generating activities.

At a meeting with President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, the religious leaders unanimously agreed to government’s proposal to tax commercial ventures of churches and other religious organizations.

The meeting became necessary after some religious groups publicly kicked against the idea of government taxing religious organisations.

It is expected that government would, from next year, start collecting taxes from churches and other religious organizations.

The leaders were from the Catholic Bishops Conference, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, the National Charismatic and Christian Churches, the Christian Council of Ghana, the Council of Independent Churches, a representative of the National Chief Imam and some Muslim leaders.

The meeting also urged the Ghana Revenue Authority to broaden the tax net to increase government’s revenue for developmental projects.

On the implementation of the free senior high policy, the clergymen lauded the president for granting access to underprivileged children to be enrolled in school.

Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, seized the opportunity to explain how the double track education was going to be implemented and assured the leaders of government of enhancing the quality of education in the country.

Welcoming the religious leaders to the Jubilee House before they retired into a closed-door session, President Akufo-Addo said it was extremely important for the government to periodically meet and discuss matters that were of importance to both him, as the head of the government, and religious leaders.

He expressed the hope that the meeting would be a regular feature of the government, saying such engagements would afford him the opportunity to listen to their concerns and also share with them some of the programmes and ideas of the government.

“Working together does not mean that they have to agree with everything; working together means that we have an attitude of cooperation, we jaw jaw, talk about matters and find a way that collectively addresses the welfare of our people,” the President said.

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