4 Jun 2019

More church ministers charged for refusing to pay tax in Samoa

9:39 am on 4 June 2019

Twenty more ministers of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa have been charged for refusing to pay taxes on the love offerings or taulaga donated by members of their congregations.

They are scheduled to appear in court today.

 Jubilee Church at Malua

Photo: Tipi Autagavaia

This brings to 40 the number of ministers from the same church who have been charged under a new law which requires church ministers to pay taxes on donations from church members.

One of the new group confirmed to the Samoa Observer that he was served with a summons a week after the church's general assembly at Malua.

He said 12 of the ministers, who have just been charged, look after congregations in rural villages while the rest serve urban congregations.

At the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa's annual general conference last week, letters from several matagaluega or directorates were read out that supported the church's decision to defy the government's new tax law.

Also last week, the church's general assembly approved $US377,000, the equivalent of $WST1 million, to cover legal costs for the ministers who are being taken to court by the government.