Number of Spaniards contributing to Church through tax system increased in 2020

Credit: Zack McCarthy via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Madrid, Spain, Mar 4, 2021 / 04:18 pm (CNA).- During the 2020 Income Declaration Campaign in Spain, 7,297,646 taxpayers chose to allocate 0.7% of their taxes to the needs of the Church, 106,259 more than the previous year.

An agreement between the Church and the Spanish state allows taxpayers freely to decide whether to allocate that percentage of their taxes to the Church or for other purposes, an option popularly known as “checking the box for the Church” when filing income taxes.

This option does not affect the taxpayer, since contributing to the Church doesn’t mean that more tax is paid or there is less of a refund.

However, for the Church checking that box is very important, since through the contributions of the taxpayers, “the immense work of the Church is sustained. To continue helping in this pandemic crisis, the Church needs everyone’s collaboration more than ever,” the Spanish Bishops’ Conference said in a statement.

In the past year, the Church received 301.07 million euros ($360.3m) thanks to contributions from more than 7 million taxpayers, who represent 32% of all Spanish taxpayers.

The bishops’ conference pointed out, “the Income Declaration Campaign took place coinciding with the hardest months of the first wave of the pandemic, during which time the Church multiplied its efforts and presence to aid the most affected groups.”

At the same time, “the figures do not yet show the economic consequences of the pandemic in Spain since the first third of 2020”.

The 106,259 new taxpayers contributing to the Church “shows the social and personal support for the work carried out by the Church at this time, and is a fourfold increase in those checking the box for the Church from the previous year,” the conference said.

The Church reiterated its commitment to transparency and therefore “gives an account of how all the money it has received from taxpayers is spent, which is provided in detail in the Report on Church Activities,” through the conference’s Transparency Office and its portal, the bishops explained.

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