The Evangelical Church is considering lowering the church tax from the current eight or nine percent – for young professionals. However, a lower tax rate could also apply to other groups in the future.
The chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, is thinking about lowering the church tax for certain groups. “We are discussing whether it is sensible for the group of young professionals to wait with the church tax or to reduce it,” he told the newspaper “Welt”.
It is also discussed “to be generally more flexible, to take into account certain life situations when paying church taxes, which church law has not yet provided for, but which are humanly understandable”.
Churches expect tax revenues to decline
Bedford-Strohm rejected criticism of the church in the Corona crisis: “The pastors should have gone underground? What nonsense.” He added: “They have struggled, as have the many thousands of employees in the Diakonie.”
In Germany, more than half a million people left the church last year. Among the Catholics there were 272,771, among the Protestants 270,000 people.
Because of the corona pandemic, the churches expect a significant decline in tax revenues this year. Depending on the federal state, their share is eight or nine percent of the wage or income tax paid.