‘Glorious Church’ in tax controversy



The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) this week was scrambling to ascertain whether the ‘Glorious Church’ and its pastor Jerome Fernando, now in the centre of a controversy, were paying taxes to the Government as records, including personal NIC numbers or other details were not available, its officials said.

An official at the Glorious Church, when asked whether the church pays any taxes, promised to get back, but there was no response.

IRD officials pointed out that Mr. Fernando’s Glorious Church management had not been given any tax exemption and that as an individual he had to declare his assets and wealth if there were any, under the Inland Revenue Act.

By tradition, Buddhist temple property was exempt from taxation or any form of revenue collection by the IRD if they were registered by the Govt. as a religious site.

Most of the other places connected to religious work have to pay taxes even if they are registered because exemption from taxes came under a certain ordinance and these institutions were not included in it, IRD officials confirmed.

Catholic Church officials were not available for comment. Officials of other Christian denominations said that while donations were exempt from taxes, income derived by the church was subject to taxes.



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