The Church of Scientology will not pay any more income tax after the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) declared it a charity, the church said today.



Announcing its decision on December 24, the IRD said the church was a charitable organisation dedicated to the advancement of religion and its income would be tax exempt.



Scientology spokesman Mike Ferris said in a statement today the decision was a "fantastic acknowledgment of the work we do for our parishioners and for our community".



The New Zealand branch of the church, started in the United States by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard, was founded in Auckland in 1955.

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- NZPA