24 Jan 2018

MP wants review of church taxes in Samoa

12:18 pm on 24 January 2018

An MP in Samoa is calling for a review of the law that requires church pastors to pay income tax.

The law was passed last year, making the country's Head of State and church pastors pay income tax for the first time.

Samoan MP, Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt

Samoan MP, Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt Photo: RNZ Pacific / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

At the time, the prime minister said there was nothing in the Bible that prohibited church pastors from paying tax.

But this week, Laauli Leuatea Polataivao Schmidt, called for a review, saying the Congregational Church of Samoa was telling its parishes not to heed the decision until its general assembly.

But the prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, rejected the prospect of a review, and said any church that refused to abide by the law would face the consequences.

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