In Germany and several other European countries, the tax collector takes care of tithing.
Employers submit payroll data including religious affiliation to the Federal Tax Office, while banks provide investment income details.
The Tax Office then deducts 8% to 9% of total income and passes it on to the churches.
The exact percentages differ between states.
In Germany, the so called church tax applies to Catholic, Protestant and Jewish religions, but not Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Buddhists or those with no faith.
Premier Christian News reports hundreds of thousands of believers are de-registering from participating churches to avoid paying the tax which contributes 70% of churches’ income.
A recent Pew Research survey found most churchgoers approve of the system and that the tax was not a significant factor in declining church membership.
In 2019, German churches received a record A$20 billion in tax revenue.
A church tax also applies in some form in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.