The Malawi Revenue Authority on Thursday morning told religious organizations in the country to start paying tax saying the tax-free honeymoon is over.
MRA public relations specialist, Hilda Mkandawire said this in the meeting in Lilongwe that the national tax collector organized with over one hundred religious leaders in the central region.
According to Mkandawire, this is because number of religious organizations in the country are running and developing profit-making businesses such as private schools and lodges, which are taxable.
She disclosed that her organization has already started sensitizing religious leaders in the eastern region in Zomba, and it will hold the same in the northern region in Mzuzu on Friday and then in southern region in Blantyre on Tuesday.
“Our constitution demand tax from any organizations or individuals that are running profitable business. We know and understand that many of you (religious organizations) have been running profitable business without paying taxes because of ignorant especially on tax obligations. However, after this meeting you will start paying taxes and we shall expect you to abide to that” she said.
However, Mkandawire said only religious organization that is embark on other businesses such as hiring halls, opening schools or hospitals (not hospitals that are under the Christian Health Association) will be paying taxes.
“We don’t collect taxes on church offerings,” she disclosed.
In his remarks, Pastor Mathews of Enlightened Christian Gathering in Lilongwe, commended MRA said the meeting has opened religious leaders’ eyes especially on the tax obligations.