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Iglesia not under tax probe

Manila, Philippines – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) vehemently denied yesterday persistent reports and rumors that the politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) is under tax fraud investigation. “Why should I order the investigation knowing that the INC like any other religious organizations is exempted from paying taxes,” BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares said.

Under the Tax Code, religious organizations are exempted from income and donor’s taxes as well as Customs duties on imported goods and services. On the contrary, Henares said she is helping the INC. However, she did not specify what assistance was extended to the sect whose members vote as one during national and local elections. (Jun Ramirez)