A former PNDC government Secretary of Information, Joyce Rosalind Aryee, has proposed that government reconsider taxing churches in the country.

Government, in August 2018, gave the clearest indication of the government’s intention to tax the churches acquiring wealth as he delivered stinging criticisms at some churches.

President Akufo-Addo speaking at a synod of the Global Evangelical church at the University of Ghana, remarked that the church is becoming a pale shadow of what it used to be generations ago.

He observed that churches have shifted from charity to prosperity and said calls for churches and their leaders to be taxed are understandable.

This government hint sparked a heated debate over whether churches should pay taxes or not.

A school of thought believes that since churches generate income from offerings and other monetary gains, they should be compelled by the state to pay taxes.

Others also argue that since churches operate as religious entities, they should not be mandated to pay taxes.

Speaking in an interview on Asaase Radio on Friday, she said although such laws on the taxing of churches are present in other countries like Britain, “they have a charities board, and there are short rules.”

Therefore, “If we want to start something like that, there should be a threshold and then monitoring.”

“So, what I am saying is that if we want to change the registration rules, or if we want to set up a charities commission, then we should do that. If we think from the perception of what is happening, maybe they shouldn’t be registered as companies limited by guarantee, then I think we should do so,” she explained.”

The former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines added that “But I think we have enough opportunity actually to monitor what is happening. For example, you know I am involved in a choir, and one time we had a concert, and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) came there because we decided to charge gate fees. So the GRA came there and monitored.”

“So, if we decide to monitor well and think certain things should be done better, I think we should do so rather than throwing our arms in despair and saying they are living flamboyantly and so on. Is there a law against flamboyance?

“How do you know the shirt the person is wearing is a gift, and some people think they should support their ministers, now if you buy a car for someone, are you going to pursue gift tax? You should be able to do all these things… If we need to tax them, then let us do so, but don’t let us use perception to judge them,” she said.