The government has denied that the 2011 Budget is intended to impose taxes on churches and mosques.

A statement signed by the Minister of Information, Mr John Tia Akologu, and issued in Accra yesterday described as mischievous and untrue claims by an Accra-based newspaper that the government’s budget for next year would impose taxes on religious bodies.

“I want to assure adherents of the various religions, including Christians and Muslims, that no tax has been imposed on churches and mosques under next year’s budget,” the minister said.

To further clarify the point, the relevant portion of the budget statement which has been deliberately distorted by the newspaper, reads:

“Madam Speaker, some institutions enjoy tax-free status because of the original non-profit motive that established them. However, in recent times, some of these institutions have expanded their scope of operation to include commercial activities, thereby making substantive profits but not paying taxes on them.

“Madam Speaker, government will amend the law to allow the Commissioner-General to tax all commercial activities undertaken by the affected institutions.”

Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

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