A tax exemption has been awarded to the SA Church of Scientology by the SA Revenue Services (SARS), the Church said on Tuesday.
“We are ecstatic, this is a memorable and historic day for us as it provides us with an even better opportunity to serve our community and scientologists,” said President of the Church, Ryan Hogarth.
He said that SARS issued the Church with a certificate on Monday approving its status as a ‘Public Benefit Organisation’.
“This was after 42 years and 26 applications to the South African Revenue Service,” Hogarth said.
He said the approval followed similar recognition in countries such as Sweden, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand, as well the European Court of Human Rights.
SARS spokesperson Adrian Lackey said the reason for such a long awaited approval might have been to determine if the Church met the criteria as a ‘Public Benefit Organisation’.
“We cannot confirm the exemption due to a confidentiality clause, but if the public wishes to donate money to the church – then they could ask to view the certificate,” Lackey said.