In Germany, churches can collect taxes from their members. This is called the church tax (Kirchensteuer). Around half of German tax payers pay the church tax.1

The church tax is 8% of your income tax in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, and 9% in the rest of Germany.3 If you earn 50,000€/year in Berlin, you would pay around 800€ in church tax. Use my tax calculator to know how much church tax you should pay.

These religious communities collect a church tax:4

  • The Evangelical Church (Evangelische Kirche)
  • The Roman Catholic Church (Römisch-katholische Kirche)
  • The Jewish Community (Jüdische Gemeinde)
  • The Old Catholic Church (Altkatholische Kirche)
  • Various Free Religious communities (Freireligiöse Gemeinden)

If you are not a member these religious communities, you don't pay the church tax.2 If you are, the only way to stop paying the church tax is to leave the church. You declare your religion during your Anmeldung. If you were baptized in your home country, the church can tax you even if you registered as an atheist.

Sources and footnotes

  2. Wikipedia 

  3. Wikipedia, 

  4., Wikipedia