Are Religious Organizations liable to pay taxes?
No. The third schedule (section 19 (1) 74) Item 12 to Personal Income Tax Act CAP P8 LFN 2004 as amended “exempts the income of any ecclesiastical, charitable or educational institution of a public character from taxation provided the income is not derived from a trade or business carried on by such institution”.
The import of this provision is that incomes of the religious bodies from religious activities e.g. tithe, offerings, donations, are not taxable. The following are however taxable:
(a.) Income derived from business activities e.g. letting of properties, transportation, production and sales of Journals , Periodicals, Audio & Video CDs etc, where these activities are carried out in the name of a separate entity or for profit.
(b.) Where religious organisations’ funds are used to acquire assets i.e. motor vehicles, landed property etc. in a name different from that of the religious organisation or in the name of an individual who is associated with the religious organisation, funds so expended become income in the hand of the entity/individual and as such taxable.
What are the other Tax obligations of Religious Organization?
(a.) Pay as You Earn (PAYE): As employers of Labor, they are required to deduct appropriate tax from the income of their employees and pay same to Delta State Internal Revenue Service on or before 10th of the following month through any designated Delta State revenue collecting banks.
(b.) Withholding Tax: Whenever a Religious body pays an individual or an unincorporated entity Rent, Royalty, Management Fees, Consultancy Fees, Technical Service Fees, Agency Fees, Supplies and Contracts, appropriate withholding tax must be deducted and remitted to Delta State Internal Revenue Service through any of the designated Delta State revenue collecting banks.