Church Tax

Understand the system for collecting church tax (Kirchensteuer) in Germany...

A church tax (Kirchensteuer) is charged in Germany. This is roughly eight to nine percent of the income tax rate. Only people affiliated with a recognised faith are required to pay and most foreigners opt out of the system by declaring that they are non-religious or not affiliated with a recognised faith. Otherwise, church tax is deducted automatically at source from income.

To opt out a person must fill out a form at the local town hall (Burgeramt) or citizens' registration office (Einwohnermeldeamt) declaring they are not an active member of a religious organisation. Application can be made for church tax paid in error to be backdated and reimbursed.