Information Regarding the Taxation of the Church

Athens, 22-02-2012

In the hope that the journalistic agitation recently raised on the matter of the taxation of the Church is due to a lack of thorough information on the part of those who caused it, the Church of Greece wishes solemnly to inform that Itself, the Holy Metropolises with their own ecclesiastic foundations, the Holy Monasteries and the Parishes, all of them being legal entities distinct from one another, annually do pay to the local fiscal services of the state their tax obligations provided bylaw as follows:

1.taxupon the annual rents collected from their real estate, with a coefficient of 20% on its value;

2.complementary tax upon their revenues from buildings and leased lands with a coefficient of 3% ;

3.advance payment of tax (for the following year) with a coefficient of 55% on the value of the aforementioned complementary tax; on their real estate with a coefficient of 3‰ on its state-fixed value (unless they are edifices to be used for worship, educational, religious or public benefit purposes, such as churches, homes for the elderly, soup kitchens); on inheritance and donations with a coefficient of 0,5% on their value;

6.stamp duty fee and Agricultural Insurance Organisation (OGA) rights up to a total percentage of 2.4% on each pecuniary contribution from the faithful to the Holy Churches by reason of sacred practice.

Moreover, the aforementioned legal entities of the Church retain and pay to the state fiscal services the following tax revenues : on the salaried services of church employees and associates paid from their budget;

2.VAT according to the coefficients provided for goods and services; on revenues with a coefficient of 8% on all service provision invoices; on revenues with a coefficient of 4% on all consignment notes for goods and with a coefficient of 1% for liquid fuels.

Finally, the Church of Greece wishes to emphasise, on the one hand, the fact that the exemption from the tax on real estate for buildings used for worship, religious and public benefit purposes has been in effect since 2008 for all religions and denominations owning real estate in Greece and, on the other hand, the fact that, although Its revenues so far come mainly from what little money is offered to It by the faithful and are used for the maintenance of Its religious and public benefit foundations, It has never requested any kind of preferential tax treatment in relation to the other tax-paying non-profit organisations of the country.

The Central Services of the Church of Greece, the Holy Metropolises, the Parishes, the Holy Monasteries and the Ecclesiastic Foundations paid for the year 2011 a total of 12,584,139.92€ in taxes.

From the Office of the Press Committee
of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece