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Samoa church body angry over tax on ministers

The opening of the Jubilee Church at Malua in May of last year saw hundreds of Samoa Congregational Christian Church members and special guests attend celebrations on Upolu. [Photo: Tipi Autagavaia / RNZI]

Malua, SAMOA — The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa's governing body has rejected outright the government's new law to tax all church ministers implemented earlier this year.

The Fono Tele or General Conference governs all matters pertaining to or affecting the church.

A source told KHJ News this morning that the matter was discussed yesterday, the first day of the Annual General Assembly at its headquarters at Malua.

The church's main point of contention is that what ministers receive from their congregations should not be taxable because they are voluntary donations.

And it seems that the church is also unhappy with the government dictating to the church on internal church matters.

In response the Ministry for Revenue placed notices in today's newspapers thanking those ministers who have already registered with the tax office.

The notice also warns that the end of next month is the last day for registrations before the Ministry starts implementing other sections of the new law, including penalties.