Churches in Kenya collect millions of shillings in tithes every year

A high court in Kenya has stopped the tax authority from demanding tax on tithes, donations and offerings given to churches, the Daily Nation newspaper reports.

The Kenya Revenue Authority had demanded 5.5 million shillings ($47,000; £37,000) from Thika Road Baptist Church in unpaid taxes, arguing that it failed to produce a tax exemption certificate.

Churches in Kenya are exempted from paying taxes on tithes, but the KRA had insisted they must get the exemption, the newspaper reports.

“I, therefore, find and hold that since tithes, offering and freewill donations are not income chargeable with income tax, it was not necessary for the church to seek an exemption,” Justice David Majanja is quoted as saying.

Last year, the tax authority said it would be viewing the social media profiles of targeted individuals to reconcile their lifestyle with their tax compliance.