6 Aug 2018

Tax owed by Samoan church ministers mounting up

6:25 am on 6 August 2018

Samoan church ministers who are refusing to pay tax now owe the Ministry of Revenue about $US1900 (5000Tala) each.

Jubilee Church at Malua

Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

All church ministers in Samoa are now required to pay tax under a new law.

Newsline Samoa reports the church ministers in default have been issued notices after failing to register with the ministry by the deadline on 15 July.

The Revenue Minister, Tialavea Tionisio Hunt, said the majority of those who defaulted are from the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.

Only 16 ministers from that church have registered while the majority are sticking to a decision made in April to reject the new law.

Tialavea said the ministry was authorised to collect unpaid taxes directly from bank accounts.

All church ministers had now been registered by the ministry, the minister said.

There were 644 church ministers in Samoa, 198 of them are with the Congregational Christian Church, he said.

According to Newsline, a Commissioner of Revenue default assessment based on the ministers' personal income for the first six months of 2018, worked out to about $US319 per month or about $US1900 each.

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