Samoan Church Choosing to Ignore New Taxes

May 31, 2018 Taxation in Samoa

Church tax in SamoaAPIA – During a recent Assembly, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa has announced that it intends to ignore the government’s new tax on the income of ministers.

Samoa is seeing an escalation in the controversy surrounding the church taxes, as the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa has outright refused to comply with the newly announced tax on ministers’ incomes.

Earlier this year the government of Samoa passed new regulations requiring church ministers to pay income tax on the earnings they receive from their congregation.

The church claimed that it will need to discuss the impact of the tax and their possible reaction during their General Assembly, which was held last week.

It was the decision of the Church to not pay the tax, and to reject the system entirely, as the incomes received by Ministers are apparently voluntary donations.

The government has stated that the tax is not aimed at the Church as a whole, but at the individual ministers representing the church, and the incomes that they earn from their work.

It was added that any ministers who are found to be neglecting their lawful tax obligations will be pursued by tax authorities in the same manner as any other tax evader.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has previously stated that the intention of taxing ministers was to broaden the tax base and to raise extra funding for roading and infrastructure development.