Church tax

The religious communities recognized as churches in Germany can have church taxes collected by the state on their behalf. The legal basis is the church tax laws of the federal states. It is levied as a surcharge on income tax. The basis of assessment is the annual income tax.
All members of a church that is entitled to levy taxes are subject to tax. The level of the church tax rate is determined by the federal state. The tax rate is between 8 and 9 %. A cap for high incomes is intended to reduce the number of people leaving the church because of the tax burden. In the case of spouses belonging to different religions, the tax is distributed among the churches.

Die Erhebung der Steuer wird durch die Financial management oder durch eigenständige Kirchensteuerämter durchgeführt. Sie dient den Kirchen zur financing ihrer Tätigkeit. Die Kirchen haben für die Erhebung der Steuern 4 % der Einnahmen zu zahlen, sofern sie die Finanzverwaltung mit der Einziehung beauftragen. Alternativ werden Kirchenabgaben erhoben, um dem steuermindernden Kirchenaustritt entgegenzuwirken.

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