Council of Churches shocked by tax-introduction

March 8, 2018, 5:29pm

The Church Council of Namibia whose membership represents 90 percent of the entire population has reacted with shock at the requirements from the finance ministry that churches pay tax dues to the state.

In his budget presentation this week, Calle Schlettwein announced that as part of the tax policy changes religious institutions will be required to register as taxpayers and file annual income tax returns.

Speaking to The Villager on the latest development, secretary general of the CCN, Ludwig Beukes said the state should have consulted with the church and find common ground first before subjecting it to tax payments.

“For us as a church it was shocking because there was no consultation before from government to say we are thinking in such a direction. Whether they have done any survey to come to those kind of things, this is the information we would like to hear. We are still waiting to get more detail to say now when they talk about this, from what threshold?” he said

He said some of the churches under their ambit do not make any meaningful income while most struggle to pay their membership fees to CCN which is a paltry 10cents per member per church.