Atheists now demand that churches start paying taxes

President of Atheists in Kenya Harrison Mumia. He has written to KRA demanding that churches be compelled to start paying taxes. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • AIK has written to KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini demanding that churches should not be exempted from taxation.
  • They also argue that the classification of churches as non-profit organisations is unjustifiably denying the country revenue.
  • Earlier 2016 AIK was granted official recognition only for it to be revoked a month later.
  • However, they have continued their activism on religious and State matters despite their lack of registration.

Atheists are demanding that churches begin paying taxes and their status as non-profit bodies be reviewed.

The body of nonbelievers Tuesday wrote to the commissioner general of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Mr John Njiraini, demanding that churches should not be exempted from taxation.

Atheists in Kenya (AIK) leader Harrison Mumia argues in the letter sent to newsrooms that churches have been unfairly favoured by being exempted from taxation yet they receive large sums of money in donations and offering.

“Where does the money from donations to churches go? Kenyan taxpayers are constantly complaining about the high rate of taxation. We see no valid reason why churches should be tax exempt,” read the statement.

The atheists’ society, which has continuously fought for the separation of religion and State, also argues that the classification of churches as non-profit organisations is unjustifiably denying the country revenue.

“This is money which could be used to build social amenities vital to the public. Unfortunately, all these things are expensive and difficult for the average tax payer to support.

“In this time of fiscal restraint in this country, when nurses, doctors and civil servants are going on strike, we are asking the KRA to take away the tax exempt [for] the church,” the letter further read.

AIK has been engaging the government as they seek official recognition, which they were earlier 2016 granted only for it to be revoked a month later.

However, they have continued their activism on religious and State matters despite their lack of registration.

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