Dar es Salaam. The government says it will appraise religious-run institutions to find out whether they are commercial or service-based so as to can determine reasonable tax obligations.
This was revealed in a live online broadcast by President Samia Suluhu Hassan yesterday in Dodoma as she graced the commemoration for the 50th anniversary of Tanzania’s Anglican Church since its official registration.
This came as Archbishop Maimbo Mndolwa stated that taxes had been one of the challenges that church institutions faced.
President Hassan said, the government would consider amending tax obligations to service institutions while those that are commercial will be required to pay tax as per the legal requirements.
“Some of the religious institutions have been operating in the same way as the private sector’s commercial institutions; as the private sector makes profits, I am sure they do too, so they should be obligated to pay tax,” she said.
During her speech the President also pledged that the government would increase efforts to recognize and verify religious institutions because they contribute to the public welfare and provision of social services such as education and health. She noted that issues like gender, children and environment which the church advocates were some of the key priorities of her administration. “Apart from the charity work on orphans and survivors of gender based violence, I want the church to add efforts in building the respect of a Tanzanian woman,” said President Hassan.
The Head of State also asked the Church to also put the sixth Population and Housing Census expected to be conducted in 2022 as one of the agenda to their denomination.
President Hassan called out at Anglican Church leaders to speak about Covid-19 pandemic, educate the congregation on preventive measures as well as the significance for being vaccinated. “I want the Church to join in the campaign against Covid-19 and the importance of being vaccinated which is voluntary but through it we can reduce the number of deaths associated with the pandemic,” she said.
Being one of the global agenda during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting held recently in New York, the President also insisted on the need to protect the environment to curb the consequences of climate change.
“You should also influence the public on environment conservation to add on the government efforts which spend two to three (2-3) percent of its revenue for environment conservation initiatives,” she said.
“I hear there are some conflicts within the church, I recommend that these issues must be resolved,” she noted.
Archbishop Mndolwa said the Anglican Church would take keen action on the directives, and continue the social campaign against Covid-19, GBV and climate action.