More church ministers in court for not paying taxes

Staff Reporters

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The General Secretary of the Congregational Christian Church, Rev Vavatau and some of the church ministers outside court

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 19 DECEMBER 2018: More church ministers of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa appeared in the District Court yesterday for failing to pay taxes to the Ministry of Inland Revenue.

Those who appeared before Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma, were Reverend Fa’au’uga Mata’utia, Reverend Faraimo Tiitii, Reverend Fili Matalavea, Reverend Fuaao Fuimaono, Reverend Iese Uele, Reverend Pita Toleafoa, Reverend Seilala Luamanuvae,Reverend Siaosi Salesulu, Reverend Taise Ioapo, and the Deputy Chairman, Reverend Elder Tunumoso Iosia.

The ministers are charged for failing to file salary and wage tax returns and failing to withhold tax from salary and wage income under Subsections 70 and 71 of the Tax Administration Act 2012.

The church ministers have yet to enter pleas and are all remanded in liberty.

According to the church Legal Officer, Senetenari Autagavaia, there are more than 100 names of church ministers who are expected to be summoned before the court on the same matter.

Judge Roma has adjourned the matter to 05 February 2019.