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Ajah, Leading Fin Plan Expert, Asks Why Nigerian Churches Don’t Show Tax Exempt Proof Like Peers In US




Financial Planning expert, Kalu Ajah, has queried Nigerian Churches on why it fails to obtain tax exemptions for their work of charity as it’s being done largely in western countries.

Ajah spoke on X, a micro blogging site, where his views on economy and finance draws wide audience.

“In church yesterday, pastor announced,

‘today is last day of giving if you want a tax receipt'”, he narrated on his handle, saying also that this happened in US where he is vacationing.

“If you give to a charity in America, you get a receipt, charities don’t pay income tax, your contributions to a charity is tax exempt.

“When you pay taxes, you exclude the charitable contributions from your income,” he said.

He wonders if this happens in Nigeria where Western style Christianity is copied wholesale.

” Churches in Nigeria, are they set up as Plc or Ltd?

“No usually they are set up as incorporated trustees or other legal vehicles and don’t pay taxes on their charitable contributions gifts and donation received.

“All I am saying is, to maintain this tax exempt status they should show audited proof they operated as a charity in that fiscal year

“This is not difficult nor should be seen as an attack,” he explained further.

His views are not new.

Seven years ago, stormy petrel fiscal inquisitor, Jim Obazee, proposed similar reforms in a report while heading the country’s Financial Reporting Council, FRC. The report was thrown out, reportedly because it was tainted with bias and especially targeted, as belived, at a religious organisation.

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Obazee picked up where he left off years ago with the another controversy in an unrelated recent Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, probe.

Ajah, however, advocates proper financial governance in charity related transactions.

“Just as Corporate Nigeria does, all organizations that receive charitable contributions must publish a Social Responsibility report to show where those charitable contributions went to.

“No church can open a bank account or build a church without regulatory oversight and approvals, there is no church account without BVN so what is the difference in asking to audit charitable contributions giving to the church to maintain tax exempt status,” he asked.

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