Church Taxes

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Some countries require their citizens to state their religious affiliation as a matter of public record. Individuals who are members of state recognized religions then have a percentage of their paychecks deducted each pay period and given to that church. Switzerland, Germany and most countries in Scandinavia all once had these taxes, although many, but not all countries in Europe have now repealed the taxes.

In the United States, church customarily do not pay property taxes on sanctuaries, parsonages, or other facilities. In many localities, however, they are asked to make a donation "in lieu" of taxes to cover the cost of basic services provided by the munincipality. Ministers do pay income tax, and if they own their own home, property tax. However, they are allowed to deduct the portion of their salary dedicated to housing expenses on federal--but not most state--income taxes.

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