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Would you agree to pay Church Tax for your faith?

(63 Posts)
Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 14:40:00

In Germany, churches can collect taxes from their members. This is called the church tax (Kirchensteuer). Around half of German tax payers pay the church tax1. The church tax is 8% of your income tax in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, and 9% in the rest of Germany.

If you had to do that as a token of your faith, to attend services, mariages and burials, would you?

It is easy to tick 'C of E' or other faith on the census- another to put your money where your tick is.

Norah Sun 22-Jan-23 14:45:14

Yes. Same, to me, we already voluntarily give.

Baggs Sun 22-Jan-23 14:49:16

What is the German church tax used for, fleurpepper?

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 14:56:04

To pay for staff, Vicars, Priests, secretaries, buildings and maintenance, cleaning, heating, supplies, support actitivities for community, etc, etc, etc.

ExperiencedNotOld Sun 22-Jan-23 14:56:44

No different from the tithe collected in times past, often a proportion of crops etc. which ensured that all in a community prospered.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 22-Jan-23 14:57:01

In Denmark church tax (kirkeskat) goes automatically to the Danish Evangelical-Lutheran Church and contributes to the running of that church, which is state-funded and to the upkeep of cemetaries and crematoriums.

If you belong to a different faith, you notify the income tax authorities that you are not liable for the church tax and pay what you, or the denomination you belong to finds appropriate. An interment or cremation may be dearer if the deceased was not a member of the state-funded church.

Catholics in any country pay, or are supposed to pay , an appropriate tax to their bishopbric.

Jews in Denmark pay to the Jewish community that runs the synagogues, burial sites and brotherhood and sisterhood who prepare the dead for burial and recommends a surgeon who can carry out circumcisions.

As far as I know all mosques in Denmark likewise rely heavily on members' contributions, as do Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs for their places of religious services, charities and funeral arrangements.

As a child living in Scotland, I know my parents contributed to our local church.

It has honestly never occured to me that any member of any religious community, at least among genuine believers, did not automatically do so.

Baggs Sun 22-Jan-23 14:57:04


GrannyGravy13 Sun 22-Jan-23 14:58:42

As the Church of England had a fund of £10.1 billion as of 2021 my answer is no.

They have offerings at every service, church bazaars, coffee mornings along with various other fund raisers and charges for weddings, funerals etc.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 14:59:25

I asked the question because of the ticks on census in UK. Many who tick 'CofE' or another faith- can do so from a vague cultural pov. I wonder how many would tick 'no faith' if their tick was linked to having to pay a compulsory 8-9% of their income.

Norah Sun 22-Jan-23 15:01:37

I believe our tithe is explained here: Proverbs 3:9 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.”

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:03:29


No different from the tithe collected in times past, often a proportion of crops etc. which ensured that all in a community prospered.

No different, as you say, in many ways.

The question is, however, would you pay it if it was compulsory now? Or would you be rather tempted to tick 'no faith' and not have to, because your 'faith'- unlike Norah's, for instance, is more cultural and real and committed?

Whitewavemark2 Sun 22-Jan-23 15:06:20

When I worked I met ( fiscalis - an EU thing) many tax inspectors or equivalent from various EU countries, where we were able to compare/share information, which proved extremely lucrative for the exchequer.

Fascinated to learn of the various taxes in different countries. Germany included.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:08:43

In Germany and other countries where Church Tax applies, the money does not go to the exchequer/Government, but to the Churches sited in the declaration, to pay for all I mentionned in my above post.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 22-Jan-23 15:13:09

I meant tax from large internationals, not other taxes like kirchensteuer - sorry not to make myself clear.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:15:26

OK, but this is not the topic of this thread. Perhaps try another one on that subject.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 22-Jan-23 15:19:24

Blimey- it was only an aside. And the fact I met tax officers from Germany whole dealt with Kirchensteuer is not relevant?

So it does not go to the German treasury, but it is administered by government tax officers.

M0nica Sun 22-Jan-23 15:21:51

I would pay church tax quite happily if most of it went to my parish and parish priest. In a way it is not a lot different to paying the money that used to be put in the collection plate by monthly direct debit, which is what I do at the moment.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:29:31


Blimey- it was only an aside. And the fact I met tax officers from Germany whole dealt with Kirchensteuer is not relevant?

So it does not go to the German treasury, but it is administered by government tax officers.

Sorry if my comment offended.

This thread is related to the other one that mentionned religion and census- but I did not want to derail that one.

In the UK, most people do do contribute directly for belonging to a faith- bar putting something in the box on the way out of Church when (rarely, very often) attending (weddings, funerals, Christmas). Some, as Norah above, do do voluntarily as their Church and Faith are very important to her.

As said, many will happily tick the box on the census, or any surveys- without too much thought. My question here is, would they, if it meant paying 8-10% to the Church selected on the form? And no, it does not go to individual Parishes, but to the coffers of the Head of that Church.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:30:09

'do not contribute directly', sorry for typo.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 22-Jan-23 15:38:18

You seemed to suggest that Norah was not committed to her faith Fleurpepper. I hope you didn’t mean that, and my reading was a misunderstanding.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 15:44:02

How would you have come to that conclusion GSM. Au contraire- Norah is prepared to support her Church and Faith, financially too. To be respected.

lemsip Sun 22-Jan-23 15:56:15

you don't have to 'tick'

copied and pasted

The religion question on the Census may be optional – you're not required to tick any box – but we think it is very important that people answer the question on religion if we want an accurate picture of the country as a basis for law and policy.

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 22-Jan-23 16:11:12

My misreading Fleurpepper, thanks for clarifying

Nobody would be subjected to a church tax on the basis of ticking a box on the census, as personal details are kept secret for 100 years.

I was baptised and confirmed into the CofE, which takes a voluntary collection at services and fundraises for charity.

Fleurpepper Sun 22-Jan-23 16:21:19

'which takes a voluntary collection at services and fundraises for charity.'

the Cof E Church is very rich- ever since Henry VIII- but I can assure you other Protestant Churches are not. Voluntary collections and a bit of charity money would never be a able to pay salaries for all the staff, heating, maintenance and activities.

How do you expect them to pay for all of this?

But the point of my post was - if it was compulsory, as it is in many Countries, would you do it, because your faith is so very important to you (as for Norah)- or would you opt out?

pascal30 Sun 22-Jan-23 16:30:28

My parents were Christadelphians, they and other members gave what they called a tithe, ie 10% of their income to the church. They did this all their married life..