An unusual feature of taxation in Germany is statecollected "Kirchensteuer" (church tax). Under certain circumstances, churches can have their tax collected for them by the tax offi ce. In the case of the major churches, church tax (roughly 9% of income tax) is collected by the state together with income tax and automatically deducted from your monthly salary. This is the reason why you are asked to state your religion when you register at the Residents' Registration Office.
If you belong to the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Reformed Protestant Church, the Jewish Community or certain Protestant Free Churches you are required to pay church tax in Germany. This does not apply, however, if you belong to the Anglican Church or the Orthodox Church. If in doubt, ask for advice at the Residents' Registration Office.
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