Do I really have to pay Kirchensteuer?

331 posts in this topic

Ok, heres the thing.

 

I do not and will not ever pay Kirchensteuer and have never been registered to do so.

 

My wife has been registered since birth, so it was automatic until she cancelled it last year before she went back to full time work.

 

She has just recieved a tax bill for them for the year 2006.

 

Now in 2006, she was not working, so was not due to pay this ridiculous tax. I was the sole breadwinner, so to speak.

 

Apparently, because on our joint tax return, she stated that she was reliant on my wage, the effin church wants some of it. If we had filed single tax returns, we would have not had to pay it.

 

How can this possibly be?

 

Now I will fight this to the high court if I have to as a matter of principle.

 

Can anyone help.

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I don't see why this can happen, if you both have your Kirchenaustritte. Maybe its a "mistake" and you just have to show them the documents to clarify?

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I suspect it's right. My wife had to pay about 50% more church tax once we got married, even though I don't pay any. Like you say, it's because your income is taxed together (Zusammenveranlagung). Personally, I think it's a bloody cheek, but our overall tax would have been higher if we'd filed separately (getrennte Veranlagung)

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This would be a great question to get to the bottom of. I am also "reliant" and in name a Catholic (though we are religiousless for tax purposes). My daughter is attending Catholic classes at school now though (as opposed to Protestant or Ethics)- will they catch us that way...? She was baptised in Oz, though they haven´t asked to see that.

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no, Rrrrranya, you are only liable for church tax if you are actually registered as catholic or whatever. Attending classes at school doesn't count. Not officially being in the church will mean that you can't baptise your kids or get get married or have a funeral in a church (offically, although sometimes you can find nice priests who will do it anyway).

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I nearly threw up when I found I would have some liability. It's not much but even one cent is too much to the catholic church for me.

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You do not i repeat do not have to pay kirchensteuer.its all a free will thing.If they ask for an austritt schein ask them for an eintrittschein.

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You do have to pay, however, if you were registered for it at the time. You can't retrospectively decide to jump ship just because you think it was to expensive.

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no, Rrrrranya, you are only liable for church tax if you are actually registered as catholic or whatever. Attending classes at school doesn't count. Not officially being in the church will mean that you can't baptise your kids or get get married or have a funeral in a church (offically, although sometimes you can find nice priests who will do it anyway).

Thanks :). Do they do First Holy Communion etc through the school? (maybe you don´t know OG, but someone else does).

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You do have to pay, however, if you were registered for it at the time. You can't retrospectively decide to jump ship just because you think it was to expensive.

Read the post, she wasnt working so wasnt eligible to pay. Before she returned to full time work she deregistered in good time. I was never registered

 

Now I was under the impression that you cant be taxed on the same income twice which, in effect this is doing.

I was also not paying my wife, so it cant be classed as earned income.

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Tax law is very precise. You are either inside a particular rule or not. I'm afraid that may mean that the rule here says you must pay the church tax because of the common return in 2006 and there probably isn't any way to escape.

 

But look at it this way: the Vatican has to maintain a global conspiracy of silence about the fate of the Templars, the location of the Nazi gold, the truth about Mary Magdalen, the identity of the fifth Beatle not to mention stepping in to battle demonic possession and spinning headed children. All that doesn't come cheap, y'know.

 

@Renia: looks like you're trying to have your bread and eat it, so to speak.

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@DB Actually my second post was aimed at MD, not you.

 

In your post you said that she exited the church last year (2007), but got a tax bill for 2006, where you had filed your tax return together, so the church tax is calculated from 50% of that. If you think that isn't right, speak to a tax consultant.

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Now I was under the impression that you cant be taxed on the same income twice which, in effect this is doing.

I was also not paying my wife, so it cant be classed as earned income.

Is it "taxing" it twice? It's just an extra % on top of the other taxes - not different from Solidarity Tax the way I look at it (except you can choose).

 

Income is often taxed twice anyway. We get our pay net of tax and then go any buy stuff for which we pay 19% VAT or (for property) a 3,5% purchase tax etc. We put our net pay in the bank and then get taxed on the interest it earns. And so on. It's normal.

 

As to the rate going up because of something relating to your spouse, I guess the point is that there are a lot of benenfits from being assessed as a married couple - and we can't just opt out of the bits that don't go our way. It's usually not possible to cherry pick what suits us with state processes.

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@Renia: looks like you're trying to have your bread and eat it, so to speak.

Yes, but I am unrepentent about that. My husband (a non-believer in organised religion) has no problem with church donations as required (because he respects my wishes) but has a big problem with the compulsory tax thing. As foreigners who could easily opt out from the beginning, we took that option. We give a lot charitably, but as we decide.

 

And I fully reserve my right to cherry pick different good or bad aspects of living in Germany.

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Read the post, she wasnt working so wasnt eligible to pay. Before she returned to full time work she deregistered in good time. I was never registered

If she is/was not working then you have to pay a certain amount for her. Was the same with us - my wife not working any more, I never joined the club here having been forewarned.

 

Finally she declared her Austritt - I still had to pay for her for a number of months; thankfully its now over...

 

Your wife should have deregistered earlier. Which religeous organisation it is/was is irrelevant.

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The whole church tax thing is why no matter how long I live here, no matter how well I learn to speak German and no matter how far away or seldom-meeting the nearest Episcopal/Anglican church is, I will probably always be an Episcopalian.

 

It's funny - I'm way more into church than my German fiance, as I go once or twice a month, but he's the one who cheerfully allows his church to attach directly to his taxes. I would never allow my church to automatically take a set percentage of my income, no matter how much I liked that parish.

 

Question: if our children are baptized in the Evangelisch church, are they from that day forward on the tax rolls, payable once they have income? Once they're confirmed in that church? If they chose to join it as adults instead of continuing in the Episcopal/Anglican community, I wouldn't have my feelings hurt at all, but I don't think they should have to take official action to leave one of their parents' churches.

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