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Old 12.07.2011, 14:34
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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I had a covnersation about this with my colleagues recently. When I registered for my permit, I had to put my religion. The choices were Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Other, and I think None.

I checked the box for "Buddhist" because it was the best choice for me.

Apparently, the religion you indicate dictates how much tax is withheld from your pay check. Catholics pay 10%, Protestants something else, etc.

First I find it odd that there would be such a tax... but it is Switzerland so it's not so shocking (I blame the Pope). I don't mind so much that a % of my income would go to support my temple... if I was attending a temple. Unfortunately I haven't found any Theravada temples in Switzerland whatsoever.

I want to know, how much of my check is being withheld for religious tax? how do I find this out? Then how do I find out where my money is going?
Why didn't you pick 'none' then you can personally donate a percentage of your salary to people in need with or without the same religion as your own, it seems awfully selfish to only donate to people of the same belief system as you.

By the way have you heard of the Buddhist hot-dog seller? I paid 20 bucks for a hot-dog, I said, 'Hey, where is my change?' He said, Ah, my son, change comes from within'
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  #42  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:37
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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it seems awfully selfish to only donate to people of the same belief system as you.
Only to those who are monumentally misinformed.

... or trolling for a reaction, of course...
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  #43  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:37
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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Walk around any Swiss city (or British city, or French city, or whatever) and you'll see that church services are provided for speakers of English, Tagalog, Portuguese, French, German, Swedish, Russian, Greek and so on.
The bloody Portuguese service was cancelled last year because my fellow compatriots decided to go to church like you go to a bar and the catholic priest/bishop/whoever got angry...

Haven't checked if peace has been made though... Have to start digging a bit.

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it seems awfully selfish to only donate to people of the same belief system as you.
Are you serious?

Edit to clarify the lack of brute sarcasm here:

There are several reasons I ask this question. First, there are no charities without a hidden agenda, no matter how profoundly based on human qualities. Secondly, we are talking about the act of giving - stamping it indiscriminately as "selfish" is a little bit silly. Thirdly, Catholic charities also help NON Catholic/Christian people. The volunteers that help, on the other hand, are usually catholic. But the heart of the Christian faith is helping your brother (in theory of course, since there is no perfect human being).

There is a lot of bad stuff on the Catholic faith, but you should really not just shoot false ideas like that.

Last edited by Helm; 12.07.2011 at 14:51.
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  #44  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:49
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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If you are seriouy about Theravada buddhism, go there:


Buddhistisches Kloster Dhammapala - Am Waldrand - 3718 Kandersteg - Tel. 033/675 21 00 Fax. 033/675 22 41 Ven. Ajahn Tiradhammo.
OT:
Here is another one that might be closer for some members.

www.wat-srinagarin.com
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  #45  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:51
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

The foreign speaking branches of the Catholic and Protestant churches get a share of the tax money. So if you attend any of these churches, I find it etically correct that you declare your faith correctly and pay the corresponding tax.

What, however, really made me really upset was when we move to Canton of Congo and they simply put me as Catholic just because the rest of the family was declared as Catholic. I had clearly stated "None" on my registration to the Gemeinde. I went to complain and then they tried with another interesting trick - then I was supposed to prove that I had "resigned" from the church in my home country. I then kindly pointed out that since my first day in CH I have always been registered as None so I cannot see why I now, 20 years later have to prove that I have "resigned" from a church I don't belong to (since I am not a resident in my birth country). This was done via my lawyer and finally accepted. However I wonder how many simply don't bother and end up paying taxes for something they are ethically not obliged to pay for.

Last edited by Tilia; 12.07.2011 at 15:14.
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  #46  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:54
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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The foreign speaking branches of the Catholic and Evangelical Reformed churches get a share of the tax money. So if you attend any of these churches, I find it etically correct that you declare your faith correctly and pay the corresponding tax.
Fixed that for you, as the confusion between "Protestant" as defined by Swiss authorities and "Protestant" as understood by most non-Swiss protestants is at the heart of the problem for many foreign residents here.
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  #47  
Old 12.07.2011, 15:02
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

I'm not sure I understand? What is the difference? As far as I know Protestant = Evangelisch but I may be wrong. Which churches are Protestant but not eligeble for tax funds?

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Fixed that for you, as the confusion between "Protestant" as defined by Swiss authorities and "Protestant" as understood by most non-Swiss protestants is at the heart of the problem for many foreign residents here.
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Old 12.07.2011, 15:03
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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I'm not sure I understand? What is the difference? As far as I know Protestant = Evangelisch but I may be wrong. Which churches are Protestant but not eligeble for tax funds?

Anglikanisch for one.
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  #49  
Old 12.07.2011, 15:04
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

There are other Protestant churches, other than the Evangelic one.

NVM... you edited your answer and someone else was faster kuddos to the quick clickers :P
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  #50  
Old 12.07.2011, 15:06
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Sorry, you're right!! I remember now that our protestant church doesn't get tax funds however, our Catholic one does. So if you belong to a Protestant church, it makes sense to declare None and then give the money directly to the local chapter.
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  #51  
Old 12.07.2011, 15:07
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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I'm not sure I understand? What is the difference? As far as I know Protestant = Evangelisch
To the Swiss tax authorities, that is correct: if you tick 'protestant' because you attend an Anglican church, a Baptist church or a Methodist church, then you get a tax bill, the money from which goes to the Evangelical Reformed Church.

Unfortunately, if you tick the 'protestant' box because you attend an Anglican church, a Baptist church or a Methodist church, then not a cent of your tax money will go to your own church, as your own church will be considered - by the Swiss authorities, at least - to come under the 'none' box.

Hence the confusion, and hence the frequent revisiting of this topic on the forum.
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  #52  
Old 12.07.2011, 15:24
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

I innocently entered "Church of England". I've never had to pay church tax
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Old 12.07.2011, 15:47
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Is it just me or is Faltrad one of the rudest people on this fourm?


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Private opinion vs law.... which one do you think wins in a democracy ?
You are in Switzerland, locals do not have to care about your mother tongue at all. Nothing is due to you in English. Enjoy what you can get in English because English is the global language and deal with the rest like a person who can place countries on a map.

Frankly, seen with local eyes, you are a diva. I am not saying you are, but this is the image you let other perceve of you. Shame really. The good news is that you can change that.
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Old 12.07.2011, 15:48
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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I live in a little village that does not have an English speaking church, and we cannot speak or understand German. Our Germinde sent us a payment slip wanting over 800 CHF for the year because my husband marked protestant. I went to them and explained that we are not denying our faith but 800 CHF is rediculous and I am not paying that much! I told them I would offer a charitable amount as my tithes but that was all I was willing to do. They sent me a letter asking me to either pay the 800CHF or mark NONE on our application. Still havent decided what to do.
Have you had time to do the calculation. What is 800FR in % of total family income? It is not the amount that counts, but the % surely. BTW you are Church taxed as a % of K/Cantonal tax you pay.

As said I am not religious and do not take part in any Church activities (apart from hosting 50 old biddies for lunch every month, under the auspices of the local Church). You might not go to your local Church, and yet in an emergency, accident, bereavement, etc, it is your local Vicar and helpers who would be there to hold your hand and pray with you and for you. They are the ones who would liaise with other Dioceses to find an English speaker to arrange for your wedding, baptism or funeral, and visit you in hospital or in the old people's home when the time comes. See it just like any insurance against ***t that can happen and when your local Church support might come in handy. Have you met your local Vicar- s/he might well speak English and make you very welcome. Our Vicar here is just great- one of the few that respects the fact I choose to live my life according to a strong moral code which is not affiliated to any religion, but more or less comes to very similar conclusions (although I do covet my neighbour's ass from time to time when he goes past in his lycras).

DB - the tax is not set by foreign bureaucrats at all. It is the Churches that beg the bureaucrats to administer said Church Tax- as they are the only ones that can calculate the % and who are able to then deduct said contributions from your normal taxes. The bureaucrats couldn't give a flying pooh- but the Churches have NO income whatsoever (although the Catholics do get support from a hugely rich foreign Organisation).
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Old 12.07.2011, 15:50
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

If you want to not pay these taxes, can you ask the local church to remove you from their records? Or is that excommunicating yourself...?!
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Old 12.07.2011, 15:55
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Yes, and as Dave Allen said ..
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Old 12.07.2011, 16:31
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

I told Basel Stadt that I don't believe in them, but they won't refund my taxes ;(
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Old 12.07.2011, 16:43
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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yes, sure.

Ah, but there is a world of difference between God and church.




(But let's leave that particular can o' worms for another day, oder?)
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  #59  
Old 12.07.2011, 16:45
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Yes, it's just you.

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Is it just me or is Faltrad one of the rudest people on this fourm?
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Old 12.07.2011, 17:00
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Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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.... Now the good news for you. Buddhism is not one of the 'religion' accepted for such payments, so you won't pay anything. Bad news is, those conributions are tax deductible, so you won't benefit from this. ...
However, if you wish to give to an organisation which is a charity (registered as such in Switzerland) that is tax-deductable.
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I'm not sure I understand? What is the difference? As far as I know Protestant = Evangelisch but I may be wrong. Which churches are Protestant but not eligeble for tax funds?
In many English speaking countries Evangelical = American Religious Right.
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Is it just me or is Faltrad one of the rudest people on this fourm?
He's usually very helpful and courteous. I just think he got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
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