WAs a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a media report, the large churches in Germany are expecting significantly lower tax revenues. These could decrease by more than a billion euros, reports the “Welt am Sonntag” after a survey.
That would be a minus of around eight percent and thus twice as much as in the financial crisis in 2009. The church tax revenue would be 11.7 billion euros in 2020, after 12.7 billion in the previous year. In 2019, the Catholic Church accounted for almost 6.8 billion euros and the Evangelical Church almost 6 billion euros.
“We are currently assuming a decline in church tax revenues of eight to eleven percent for the Evangelical Church in Germany,” said Carsten Simmer, head of the finance department of the Evangelical Church in Germany, of “Welt am Sonntag”. The Catholic dioceses speak of declines between 4 and 13 percent.
The church tax is eight to nine percent of wage and income tax. If, as in the Corona crisis, more people go on short-time work or even become unemployed, the church tax revenue will therefore also decrease.
Church tax is only paid by church members who are also subject to wage and income tax; that is almost half of the 44 million Catholics and Protestants. The contribution is collected by the state tax office and passed on to the churches. The state receives around three percent of the tax revenue.
The churches use the income to finance the running costs for their staff in pastoral care, schools and social institutions.