Federal Inland Revenue Service on 19th August published a list of bank accounts that are pending tax status verification and threatened to closed the account and forfeit the deposits if they fail to come clear with the operators tax return. Listed on the roll was Assemblies of God Nigeria.
Reacting to its inclusion in the list of tax defaulters, the General Secretary of Assemblies of God Church, Rev Dr Godwin Amaowoh said it came as a surprise as religious organizations in Nigeria are not taxable. The church also demanded the immediate retraction of the said publication.
“We received with bewilderment and embarrassment publications classifying the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria among tax defaulting companies.
“It came to us with huge surprise considering that at no time had religious organizations been taxable in Nigeria, and how the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, now became an exception beats our imagination.
“It is either the person who did this categorization and fueled the publications in some online media outfits did so out of ignorance or it was an act of mischief. We say ignorance in the sense that the person who listed the Assemblies of God into list of defaulters may need to be taught that Churches are not taxable, or mischief as the person may have chosen to deliberately embarrass the Church.
“Either way, we demand that for whatever intent and purpose, the said misleading and embarrassing publication should be retracted by the FIRS.
“The Assemblies of God is a law-abiding Church and would not allow its name to be dragged into an act of lawlessness and disobedience to the extant laws of the land.
“For the avoidance of doubts, The Assemblies of God Nigeria as Registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission is a non-profit making Organization and the Law respects That”
“While we await the FIRS to do the needful in this regard, we urge all our members to remain calm as there is no cause for alarm,” he said.