Archbishop of Kampala City, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has made a call on the government of Uganda to deduct tithe from workers’ salaries.
According to the Catholic Archbishop, many Christians for the past years have failed to pay their tithes affecting the growth of the church.
“Whenever we ask for tithe, everyone gives only what they have at that time. But the Bible says a tenth of whatever you earn belongs to the church,” he said during a mass.
“Give me your support as I front this proposal because it is good for us. Aren’t you tired of putting money in the baskets all the time?”
Archbishop Lwanga said he wanted Uganda to go the German route, where Germans, who are registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews have a church tax (Kirchensteuer) of 8-9 per cent deducted from their annual income.
“I was told Germans made agreements with their government to deduct monthly tithe from their salaries and forward it to the church and this money they use to build and renovate their churches,” he added.
Meanwhile, in Ghana, the debate to tax churches has become an issue as some pastors and individuals have spoken against it.
On July 30 this year, the Commissioner-General of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Emmanuel Kofi Nti said churches that run businesses will be taxed.
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According to him, many church leaders or ‘owners’ leverage on their churches and establish other businesses apart from the church which generates enough money for them, therefore such businesses will be taxed just like others whose businesses are not affiliated to any religious organization.
“If a church is doing any business apart from just having a congregation, that business will get an income so there should be taxes on them. We’re not taxing the church, no, we’re taxing the other businesses done aside the church itself. Most churches have schools, shops and all that. Those businesses are in the name of the church but they are also businesses on their own. So long as they get income, they should pay taxes as well.” Mr Nti said.
Nana Akufo-Addo in response to the taxing of churches said he has observed that church priests now “compete to show who is the more powerful and who is the richer,” something he said makes sense for the public to call for them to be taxed.