The Church adds 40,000 new taxpayers to its Income tax box, although it enters less than in 2020

The Church adds 40,000 new taxpayers to its Income tax box, although it enters less than in 2020

The figures of the declaration of the Rent in favor of the Church continue being historical. Although last year the record of the previous year was not broken again (301 million for 295 of the current one), the Episcopal Conference has reason to rejoice. Neither the pandemic, nor the registrations, nor the cases of child abuse, nor the decline in religious practice... Nothing seems to make a dent in the coffers of the Spanish Church.

According to data presented this Tuesday by the Episcopal Conference, the number of declarations in favor of the Church has been 7,337,724, 40,000 more than in the previous year. Adding the joint declarations, more than 8.5 million taxpayers mark 0.7% of their taxes, for a total of 31.57%, half a point below last year.

In relation to the amounts, in the 2020 declaration the amount allocated by taxpayers to the Catholic Church reaches the amount of 295,498,495 euros and decreases by 5.58 million, compared to the previous year. This decrease reflects the economic deterioration caused by the pandemic which, in addition to the extremely high cost in human lives, implied a very significant decrease in economic activity, according to the bishops. The figure is low in all the autonomous communities although, as the person in charge of the Church's finances, Fernando Giménez Barriocanal, pointed out, it occurs in the two boxes (Church and Other Purposes), and "it is related to the increase in the number of contributors caused by the ERTES, which receive their drafts without any of the boxes checked".

Last year a record was broken.

Last year the bishops had already achieved a spectacular financing record through the IRPF box. For the first time in its history, the 'X' of the Church exceeded the barrier of 300 million euros (301.07 million), increasing the figure for the 2018 financial year by more than 16, which was already spectacular: 284.4 millions of euros.

A total of 8.5 million declarations (between individual and joint), with an average of 35 euros per taxpayer. 32.15% of Spaniards marked the 'X' of the Church (either alone, or together with 'Other Purposes of Social Interest'), which has experienced a spectacular progression in the last four years. Thus, while between 2008 (when the new model begins, which gives the Church 0.7% and not the previous 0.52%) and 2016, the figure is around 240-250 million euros.

The number of declarations in favor of the Church increased in eight autonomous communities (Andalusia, Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha and the Canary Islands). The regions in which there is a higher percentage of people who mark the X box in the Income Statement for the support of the Church are Castilla La Mancha (44.69%), La Rioja (43.84%) , Extremadura (43.75%), and Murcia (43.01%). As for the communities that contribute the most to the support of the Church, they are Madrid (87.67 million euros), Andalusia (41.95 million euros) and Catalonia (33.25 million).

Although in principle only questions related to income tax were going to be accepted, Barriocanal answered some related to the audit recently commissioned by the bishops to the firm Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo. "There is no need to jump to conclusions on work that is just beginning," he pointed out, calling the signing of the agreement last week a "historic agreement." An agreement that, at least on paper, will not cost the coffers of the Spanish Church.

"The objective of this audit is to reach the end, the focus is where it has to be, but not based on previous assumptions," stressed the person in charge of the Church's finances. "You have to stop working and study things rigorously," requested Barriocanal, who was convinced that "they are going to investigate thoroughly, with the criteria that have been established, and when the conclusions arrive, they will have to be faced."

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