Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Finance/banking/taxation  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12.07.2011, 12:33
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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?
__________________
I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies. - Pietro Aretino
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12.07.2011, 12:35
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,226
Groaned at 2,458 Times in 1,778 Posts
Thanked 39,330 Times in 18,537 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
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?
If you put "none", you pay no tax.

Tom
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 12.07.2011, 12:46
MathNut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kt. Glarus
Posts: 4,417
Groaned at 34 Times in 32 Posts
Thanked 10,952 Times in 3,253 Posts
MathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Pretty sure that neither Catholics nor anyone else is paying 10% of income. An extra 10% of your cantonal income tax bill, maybe.

Do a search for "Kirchensteuer" and your canton, shouldn't be too hard to find the rates.

I figured mine up once (was registered as Reformed, ZH) and it came to all of CHF8 per month.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank MathNut for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 12.07.2011, 12:50
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

You should have seen the face of the people at our Commune/Gemeinde when I firmly replied 'NONE'- everybody turned round, especially as we had just bought the local Vicarage. OOps. Thing is these declarations are used to show the % of people with different religions - which is stupid, as most people put what religion they were basically sort of born with, even though they never ever go to Church, apart from baptisms, marriages, funerals and the odd Christmas. In some countries, the Churches are so rich that they do not need to get money from their brethren. All religions ask their faithfuls to contribute a percentage of their income to the Church and charity- the most common amount being 10%. This is to pay for salaries of Vicars/priests and their assistants who not only provide services, but visits to the elderly, infirm, old peoples home, luncheons for the isolated or elderly (we still host those once a month in winter at our house- 50 old biddies) and so on. In Neuchatel and I think Geneva, these taxes are now optional- and the Churches are in BIG financial trouble. Which is how we were able to acquire the house which served as the Vicarage since 1587. In most C/Kantons it is still compulsory. 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.

All religious people pay for their Church in one way or another. My cousin is a Pentacostal minister in New Jersey, and his salary and those of his staff + Church repairs, etc, were directly paid by his brethren. People here expect the Church to be there to help, to serve at all baptisms, marriages, Communions, funerals, etc - but not to pay towards the cost. It just does not work obviously. We do not pay, but do not avail ourselves of any of their services.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12.07.2011, 12:55
KeinFranzösisch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 2,198
Groaned at 63 Times in 38 Posts
Thanked 2,549 Times in 1,115 Posts
KeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond reputeKeinFranzösisch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
Pretty sure that neither Catholics nor anyone else is paying 10% of income. An extra 10% of your cantonal income tax bill, maybe.

Do a search for "Kirchensteuer" and your canton, shouldn't be too hard to find the rates.

I figured mine up once (was registered as Reformed, ZH) and it came to all of CHF8 per month.
thanks!!! that answered my question precisely.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:07
mojado's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 813
Groaned at 14 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 801 Times in 357 Posts
mojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

I live in Basel and marked Catholic in the registration form. No money is taken from my check for the religious tax, BUT I receive an invoice (yes, the orange payment slip) to pay it at the end of the year, directly from the church.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:27
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

And do you HAVE to pay it or is it optional? You should be able to claim it against tax.

Here in Neuch, the tax is now optional, and the Reformed Church is in huge doodoo because Phillip Morris have stopped paying their contribution, which was a substantial part of the Ref Church income. They have already sold many of their Vicarage, cut down staff and services and just do not know which way to turn to raise income. Services are now held in turn in the local Churches- we have a service here about every 5 weeks, and a marriage and funeral from time to time.

BTW a very pretty little Church and we have the old Parish room with great catering facilities, etc, which we can rent for small function next door (for about 50 people) in our lovely village - a great place for a simple wedding.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:42
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 11,248
Groaned at 37 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 26,732 Times in 8,253 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Odile, here in SZ it is not optional - if you register as a member of one of the state supported faiths, you are taxed. Ya gots ta pay ta pray.

Depending on your canton/Gemeinde and on your individual situation, church tax can indeed take a rather big bite out of one's wallet.

If one is a believer and one agrees with the mission of one's local parish as well as the mission of one's church, giving financial support to that mission is a worthy thing to do. My problem with the CH church tax is that there is no choice. You pay or get out; you have to support projects and policies with which you disagree, or you have to renounce your church membership. I find that sad, as there is little a church member can do to work for change from within.

The faith in which I was raised taught me to follow my conscience first and foremost. Financial support is a very effective 'tool' for the laity to bring about change while still remaining in the church family, still having the opportunity to support the good things that are being done. Shame that isn't available here - and one of the reason why I do not practice my faith in Switzerland.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:55
sflorida_sweetie2's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Basel, stein AG
Posts: 242
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 103 Times in 49 Posts
sflorida_sweetie2 has earned some respectsflorida_sweetie2 has earned some respect
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

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.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:58
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
They sent me a letter asking me to either pay the 800CHF or mark NONE on our application. Still havent decided what to do.
Mark NONE.

Your faith isn't determined by the whims of foreign bureaucrats.
Reply With Quote
The following 12 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:58
mojado's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 813
Groaned at 14 Times in 10 Posts
Thanked 801 Times in 357 Posts
mojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond reputemojado has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
my husband marked protestant.
He is practicing, as he protested
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank mojado for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 12.07.2011, 13:58
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Meloncollie - what is the contribution requested as a percentage?

I am not religious, don't go to Church and do not avail myself of their services. But I belong to other Institutions or charities, and I pay my dues to them, as I realise that they cannot do their work without, be it my local Ski cClub, the WWF or the National Trust and Oxfam (UK) and a few more.
How can a Church look after its brethren without financial support?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:01
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
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.
How much does that work out as a percentage of income? I bet it is very small - would be great if you could quickly calculate and report back. Surely a Church cannot function, pay salaries, repairs, etc, without financial support from its brethren? The contributions paid by members of my cousin's Church in NJ were enormous.
Most local people put a bit aside for their religious tax every month. Any Club or Assoc/Charity need financial contributions to do what they are set out to do, surely. I use a car so pay my road taxes, use a TV so pay my dues for that. It is just common sense. If I don't want to pay road tax, I'll sell my car and use public transport. People here expect to be married, have their kids baptised and confirmed, have pretty song services and music at Christmas and be buried by the Church - but are not prepared to contribute. Just does not work that way. Either you do, or you don't. You can't really expect your local village Church to give services in English and all the languages of their community, really. it's funny, I am religious or belong to any Church (in our family it is so complicated- been put off forever, lol) and yet I can see that a Church cannot function without contributions from their followers.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:12
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 14,750
Groaned at 284 Times in 189 Posts
Thanked 18,639 Times in 7,827 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
Here in Neuch, the tax is now optional, and the Reformed Church is in huge doodoo because Phillip Morris have stopped paying their contribution, which was a substantial part of the Ref Church income.
maybe they should operate a pay as you go scheme. 30chfs for a sunday service, 500 chfs for a baptism, 400 chfs for a confirmation etc. etc.

drum up a bit of business by offering a 2 for the price of one on the forgiveness of sins (offer excludes deadly sins). or a service charge on the buggering of small boys...
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:19
sflorida_sweetie2's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Basel, stein AG
Posts: 242
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 103 Times in 49 Posts
sflorida_sweetie2 has earned some respectsflorida_sweetie2 has earned some respect
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
How much does that work out as a percentage of income? I bet it is very small - would be great if you could quickly calculate and report back. Surely a Church cannot function, pay salaries, repairs, etc, without financial support from its brethren? The contributions paid by members of my cousin's Church in NJ were enormous.
Most local people put a bit aside for their religious tax every month. Any Club or Assoc/Charity need financial contributions to do what they are set out to do, surely. I use a car so pay my road taxes, use a TV so pay my dues for that. It is just common sense. If I don't want to pay road tax, I'll sell my car and use public transport. People here expect to be married, have their kids baptised and confirmed, have pretty song services and music at Christmas and be buried by the Church - but are not prepared to contribute. Just does not work that way. Either you do, or you don't. You can't really expect your local village Church to give services in English and all the languages of their community, really. it's funny, I am religious or belong to any Church (in our family it is so complicated- been put off forever, lol) and yet I can see that a Church cannot function without contributions from their followers.
I understand and respect all that you are saying, I too pay for having a car on the road, a bike to ride etc... However, for them to dictate what my contribution will be (and quite a bite I might add) I disagree. I do not mind giving to the local church but feel without having to denounce my faith I should make that decision as to how much. If there was an English speaking church I would attend.
Here is another question. I did find an English speaking church in Basel (30 minutes from my house by train). If I were to attend that church then what? Do I pay double taxes for attending in a different canton? And what about the tithes? I guess that is just in addition right?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:22
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
I did find an English speaking church in Basel (30 minutes from my house by train). If I were to attend that church then what? Do I pay double taxes for attending in a different canton? And what about the tithes? I guess that is just in addition right?
Nah. You'd go back to your city hall and tell them that, as you have no religion, you are no longer prepared to pay church tax.

Then you attend the church of your choice, where you pay your tithes or put your money in the collection as you would in any normal church.

It is crazy to pay for the services of a church which you never attend, unless you have your own reasons for wishing to contribute to its upkeep.

You are still a Christian, whatever the paper on the desk of the town hall clerk says.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:24
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 11,248
Groaned at 37 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 26,732 Times in 8,253 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
Meloncollie - what is the contribution requested as a percentage?
Anywhere from a couple of hundred to tens of thousands per year.

Quote:
How can a Church look after its brethren without financial support?
A church needs financial support from it's members, no question. I have no issue with donating to a church, I believe one should do so if one is an active member and agrees with the projects/policies that one's donation supports. My problem is with the mandatory aspect of the CH church tax. In other countries where I was an active church member donations were voluntary - you gave what you could, as your conscience dictated. And interestingly enough - voluntary donations often tend to be a higher percentage of a person's income than the CH church tax.

Perhaps it's because I come from the US, where the separation of church and state is 'sacred', but I struggle with the very concept of a church tax, i.e., government involvement even if only as collector and bookkeeper. For me, the church tax takes choice - the ability to follow my conscience - out of religious practice. Which just seems wrong to me.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:29
Helm's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Zürich<->St.Gallen
Posts: 2,209
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 4,136 Times in 1,371 Posts
Helm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond reputeHelm has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
maybe they should operate a pay as you go scheme. 30chfs for a sunday service, 500 chfs for a baptism, 400 chfs for a confirmation etc. etc.
Most of the money I gave in my home city was spent on an elderly home and charity. As hard as it is for me to confess, I have a hard time givng money to charities. I don't think "a pay as you go" would be beneficial to those most in need (having to pay those services would lead to less people wanting to marry/ baptize, therefore even decreasing the income to spend on charities).

I thought for a long time to cut away from the church here since first I don't like the catholic priest where I live (he is way too conservative for my taste) and secondly I understand no word of the service. But I decided to pay the tax (about 200 CHF per year) to help those in need. It's a compromise. But 16 CHF per month it's not that much for my sinful pride of helping someone else
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:40
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: At home
Posts: 4,167
Groaned at 208 Times in 133 Posts
Thanked 6,403 Times in 2,719 Posts
Faltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond reputeFaltrad has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
View Post
However, for them to dictate what my contribution will be (and quite a bite I might add) I disagree. I do not mind giving to the local church but feel without having to denounce my faith I should make that decision as to how much. If there was an English speaking church I would attend.
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.
__________________
Es wird nichts ausgelassen, um mich hier herauszuekeln. Ein Lehrbuch. False accusations and attacks continue. There is no stopping righteous people when they are wrong.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Faltrad for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 12.07.2011, 14:43
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 32,226
Groaned at 2,458 Times in 1,778 Posts
Thanked 39,330 Times in 18,537 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Faith-based Disincentive (religious tax)

Quote:
Mark NONE.

Your faith isn't determined by the whims of foreign bureaucrats.
When I first got a church tax bill in Ticino, I sent a letter (in English) stating that we were not a member of their church, nor any other. End of story.

However, if you have kids (I do) and want them to do church things, baptism, etc. (I don't), you will have a problem if you declare 'NONE'.

Tom
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Religious Musings Dervaish General off-topic 1069 21.12.2011 14:19
Whats best Commission based investment advice or Fee based advice? manouche Finance/banking/taxation 5 24.08.2010 16:53
What do non-religious people do on religious holidays? Bell Other/general 61 09.10.2009 20:37
EU expat contract + religious tax debydebo Finance/banking/taxation 4 30.01.2008 12:04


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:41.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0