The Moderator of General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church has said there must be a proper investigation into how churches use their monies before a consideration can be made into whether they must pay taxes or not.
Very Rev. Seth Senyo Agidi stressed that especially with one-man churches where one person assumes several positions, there is the need to know how the money is used so they can be taxed.
“In the well-established churches that are regulated by a constitution, there are laws which we abide by, so we pay salaries to our pastors and they do not have to take more than they are entitled to.
“But in the modern day one-man church that the founder is the financial secretary, the treasurer, purchasing officer and everything else, they must be investigated on how their monies are being used,” he told Evans Mensah on Ghana Connect, Friday.
A week ago, President Akufo-Addo dropped the biggest hint yet of government’s plans to tax the church.
But the churches said, paying taxes is a religious responsibility for all Christians in general so when they were asked to pay taxes, they demanded clarity since they already pay tax.
Rev Senyo Agidi said the Christian has not met since news broke about the issue to take an official position on it but they will do so in due course.
“Our members, who are employees of the churches and all the pastors already pay taxes at source. All institutions that are profit-making related to the churches are also paying taxes
“Are they directing the issue to offerings, tithes and thanksgivings during services on Sundays?” he quizzed.
According to him, the churches are development partners of the government and they establish schools with their own monies in the country before government began to support them.
He said since there are calls for these monies to be taxed, the church must as well limit its support in providing social interventions, which is government’s responsibility, to begin with.
The EP Church Moderator discounted the arguments that the churches and its leadership are now more focused on their own prosperity than helping society.