An Elder in the Pentecost Church, who is also the founder of Bohye Prayer Camp at Agric Nzema, Kumasi, Elder Prophet Bismarck Amoah, has supported taxing churches.
According to him, some churches are purely into business through the sale of anointing oil, creams, handkerchiefs and other items and are making profit from such activities.
To that end, as the laws demand, they must be taxed.
Elder Prophet Amoah told Accra 100.5FM’s Naa Atswei Oduro in an interview that generally churches are not taxed under the law, however, the current practice where items are sold in the churches by some pastors during sermons has made it mandatory for the state authorities in charge of collecting levies, to demand that those churches pay tax.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is actively working to tax activities of churches in the country.
Commissioner of the GRA, Kofi Nti has promised to pay informants 25 per cent of a penalty against churches hiding under a fellowship to make money, without paying taxes to the state.
President Akufo-Addo has also supported this proposal insisting that churches are not business ventures.
But many pastors have kicked against the proposal arguing that they pay the relevant taxes though they are registered as NGOs.
Elder Prophet Amoah said: “Under the laws of this country, churches are not supposed to be taxed but these days some churches are purely doing businesses which require that they pay tax.
“Some churches are selling anointing oil, soap, creams and other materials. These items are sold for GHS1000, GHS500, and GHS200, this no doubt is a business they are doing, so, they must pay the tax.”
He added: “I support the government’s intention to tax these churches. The sale of items by the churches is not even Biblical, you remember when Jesus was on earth he punished some religious leaders who were selling in the churches, implying that selling in the churches is wrong.”