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Churchesdocx

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Summary

Taxation is a universal phenomenon. From ancient times, it has been the source of financial support to governments in the running of state affairs all over the world. The laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria specify the payment of taxes of various forms and shades by all-income earners and entrepreneurs in the country either as individual or as corporate organization. Thus individuals, companies or institutions pay taxes to the various levels of government according to their incomes or assets. Today, unlike before, a hot debate arises on the national media whether religious bodies now emerging in their numbers are also subject to the government‟s tax policies. Religious bodies in general are considered as non income earning and this shows the rationale for their apparent immunity from tax payment in Nigeria. This paper concentrates on whether government should tax churches or not. Admittedly, the recent trend of the formal involvement of many church bodies, denominations or personalities in enterprises with business orientation - school management, industries, financial institutions, article shops etc, calls this seeming immunity to question. Noting the difficulty in defining what is meant by "business orientation" with regard to church enterprises, this paper sees the logic in taxing those church enterprise that are strictly commercial.
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Abstract

Taxation is a universal phenomenon. From ancient times, it has been the source of financial support to governments in the running of state affairs all over the world. The laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria specify the payment of taxes of various forms and shades by all-income earners and entrepreneurs in the country either as individual or as corporate organization. Thus individuals, companies or institutions pay taxes to the various levels of government according to their incomes or assets. Today, unlike before, a hot debate arises on the national media whether religious bodies now emerging in their numbers are also subject to the government‟s tax policies. Religious bodies in general are considered as non income earning and this shows the rationale for their apparent immunity from tax payment in Nigeria. This paper concentrates on whether government should tax churches or not. Admittedly, the recent trend of the formal involvement of many church bodies, denominations or personalities in enterprises with business orientation - school management, industries, financial institutions, article shops etc, calls this seeming immunity to question. Noting the difficulty in defining what is meant by "business orientation" with regard to church enterprises, this paper sees the logic in taxing those church enterprise that are strictly commercial.

 

About the Author

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

http://www.unn.edu.ng/academics/institute/institute-of-african-studies-2/
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