The Deputy Finance Minister, Dr John Kumah, has denied the assertion that payment of tithes and other religious obligations will be affected by the Electronic Transaction levy (E-levy).

Dr John Kumah on Friday said government is not taxing the tithes and offering of religious persons in the country.

“It is a complete lie and falsehood that E-levy will tax tithe and offerings. E-levy does not affect Church’s tithe and offering or Zakat,” he said.

Interacting with Benjamin Akakpo on JoyNews’ AM show, the Deputy Minister argued that banks charge people who decide to pay their tithe using their services, however, the charges do not affect the money being sent.

“Assuming you issue the cheque for your tithe of GH¢2000, your bank is going to charge you for the services for issuing a cheque. Does it mean you are being charged for your tithe?

“Assuming I picked my car, bought fuel, drove to the bank and withdrew GH¢2000 to pay my tithe. The transportation to the bank and church is it part of the tithe I’m paying? So this is a complete propaganda to create unnecessary fear in people.

“If you decide to pay your tithe of GH¢2000, exactly GH¢2000 will go to the church.”

Dr John Kumah, therefore, entreated the public to disregard claims that the levy would affect tithes as alleged by the Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George.

“There is a difference between using Momo and telling us we are taxing your offering and tithe. They are two different things,” Dr Kumah insisted.

According to Mr Sam George, should the e-levy law be implemented as it is now, payment of tithes and other religious obligations will be affected.

“An issue that has not been clarified is the tithe and offertories and the Zakat in the mosque. We know that we can now pay these online. Now, the exemptions that have been given has not been given to churches,” in spite of the suggestion that churches should go and register as merchants.

He stated that if churches register as merchants, there is no way payment to that platform will be exempted.

“A Merchant SIM must be held by a tax compliant person. Now the law says that tithes, offertories and Zakat are tax exempted. So how does a church hold a Merchant SIM and pay taxes for tithes, offertories and Zakat which are tax exempted?” he quizzed.

The MP made the assertions on the Super Morning Show on Thursday, April 28, 2022, ahead of the implementation of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) on May 1.