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Court hearing for 20 Samoan pastors to conclude today

July 4, 2019 11:36 am

A court hearing for 20 faife’au or ministers from Samoa’s largest church who are facing tax evasion charges will sit for its final day today.

The ministers have been charged after the Congregational Christian Church made the decision last July to refuse to abide by new income tax laws.

The laws require church pastors and the O le Ao o le Malo or head of state to pay income tax, but for nearly a year, ministers have refused to.

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Each minister faces the two charges of failure to withhold taxes and failure to file tax returns.

The Congregational Christian Church has said that paying income tax is an affront to their faith, and that many pastors live off donations.

In a three-day hearing this week, the church applied for the government’s case against to be thrown out.

A decision is likely to be made this morning.

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