Church tax

A church tax is a voluntary tax collected by the state from members of some religious denominations to provide financial support of churches, such as the salaries of its clergy and to pay the operating cost of the church. A church tax is collected in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Sweden, some parts of Switzerland and several other countries.

The constitution of a number of countries such as the United States could be and have been interpreted as both supporting and prohibiting the levying of taxes unto churches; prohibiting church tax could separate church and state fiscally, but it could also be favorable treatment by the government.[1] It is explicitly prohibited in India for the state to levy taxes on religious grounds under Article 27 of the Constitution of India. In Australia there is no specific constitutional exemption. Section 116 of the Constitution of Australia precludes the Commonwealth of Australia (i.e., the Federal parliament) from making laws for establishing any religion, imposing any religious observance, or prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, but it does not make any specific reference to taxation. Religious organisations are however exempt by virtue of legislation by the various Federal & State parliaments giving them charitable status.[2]