>Don’t ask me… (about Church Tax)


Or brain farts, for that matter.

Some dope of a politician – miffed at not getting a seat in church on high days and holidays – reckons that only people who pay church tax should be allowed into church at Christmas or Easter.

You pay church tax in Germany – 9% on top of your income tax.

Unless you opt out, which means that you don’t get to marry in church and stuff like that.

Or never opt in.

Which is my status.

It happpened like this.

When I first came to Germany, the guys in the office helped me fill out the piles of documents that you need if you want to live here – applications for health insurance, registering with the local authority, sourcing health certificates, stuff like that.

The health certificate wasn’t a worry. Someone typed one out on the office typewriter on company letterhead, someone else magically became a doctor and signed it and someone else had a quck sex-change and witnessed it as a nurse.

And then someone said “Look – this church tax business. It’s cheaper if you put “Nein” in this box”

So I put “Nein” in that box, which means

a) I’ve saved a chuck of money over the years
b) if this Politician Johnny gets his way, I won’t be able to toddle along with Ms. jb at Chreaster.

Now, I have no idea if this Politician Johnny’s given much thought to the PROCESS.

Do you flash your tax return at the door on Chistmas Eve or do you get a certificate from the priest when you book your seat?

On second thoughts, he’s probably given it ZERO thought.

If you’re a kiddy (or even a student), you don’t pay tax. And no church tax. Sorry…….

If you’re a pensioner, it’s pretty likely you’re not paying tax either. And no church tax. Sorry……

So the people who DO pay church tax are in the 30 – 60 age group band.

Bugger all of whom you see in church.

So Politician Johnny will pretty much have the place to himself….

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3 Responses to >Don’t ask me… (about Church Tax)

  1. ann says:

    >It’s 9pc OF your income tax, not another 9pc on top of your income tax. At any rate the 9pc is additional but a percentage of income tax owed, not a percentage or your income. You can generally find out where it’s all being spent online.And if Mrs. Jb is paying church tax – you might very well be depending on what Bundesland you live in. If you don’t now, you might soon – google »besondere Kirchgeld«.Some larger churches have been reserving seats for the folks that show up more than 2x a year now for a while. Arranging for a reserved seat in your name would be doable and in churches where it gets crowded – entirely reasonable. I don’t like being forced to pay any more than the next guy and the church might actually get more from me if there weren’t the tax, but if you’ve announced before all the world that paying the organist and the janitor and the clergy person and supporting the kindergarten are not where you want your money to go, you’ll understand that others get a little frustrated when your consumption of said services bumps someone else who is supporting these very things financially. Standing room for everyone of course – but granny who pays her tax gets a seat before you do. Can one honestly complain about a system like that?

  2. jb says:

    >Did I say it’s a percentage of taxable income? Actually, no. And is it included in your income tax? No, it’s a separate line item, in the same way as the other employee contributions are.Do I pay church tax anyway?Not on the last 30 or so tax returns, as far as I can see.Am I criticising the concept of church tax?No.Just a gormless politician who’s looking for headlines and hasn’t thought the whole thing through.And am I using irony?Yes. At least I thought I was….

  3. ann says:

    >re: 9pc i concede that the wording is only subject to misinterpretation (mine) and not wrong.Your wife’s church has the right to tax your income. The legal option is not yet excersized everywhere (thankfully – the whole system is rotten), but it’s what your wife’s church decides to do this year that matters and not the past 30. All your points about the young and the old and income tax – Krankenkasse ditto, and yet, they all have cards.I’m usually a gal to get a joke, but you’re only proving the populist windbag’s point.

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