Acting Chairman of Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emmanuel Usoh, yesterday, lamented that out of a taxable population of 2.4 million persons in the state, only 171,000 pay taxes.
Dispelling rumours that the state government intends to tax churches and mosques in the state, the revenue boss described same as politically motivated, saying that the government of Edo State will not promote any programme or tax policy that will damage the excellent relationship it shares with religious bodies in the state.
He said that while the state government intends to ensure that taxable residents pay their taxes, “we still find that most of them are still not paying, but we are pursuing them. These are the same people going round in the name of politics to cause disaffection between the state government and religious bodies.
“Churches, mosques and all other religious bodies are categorised as charitable organisations and as such are exempted from paying taxes. The present administration in Edo State has no intention of taxing any religious organisation for the remaining part of its tenure, nor in the incoming administration,” he added.