Members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland pay church tax in conjunction with state and municipal income tax. Your church tax goes to your home town parish, whose tax rate determines how much you pay. The church tax rate varies between parishes, but it generally falls between one and two per cent.
The Church compensates the state for the expenses accrued from collecting tax. In 2015, this compensation amounted to 21 million euros.
How much church tax do I pay?
A Church member with an average income pays roughly 260 euros in church tax per year. If all Church members are considered, the average church tax is 222 euros per year.
If you join the Church mid-year, you will not start paying church tax until the following year; church tax is only levied on people who are members when a new year begins.
Tax revenue benefits are many
Church tax allows parishes to carry out their work, and many reap the benefits of the tax through the activities and services offered by parishes.
Some examples include:
- The foundation of parish work is Sunday services and mass.
- Parish employees work alongside city employees in education and youth work and family matters.
- Deacons help those that are struggling. Diaconia is offered in collaboration with municipal social services.
- Parishes help celebrate life events.
Church membership matters
Although you may not feel you currently need the help of the Church or your local parish, your church tax contribution matters: through it, you help parishes do their work for and with people.