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October 1, 2020
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Church open to talks on taxation of revenue, on one condition

The Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) points out in a communiqué that it is open to talks on the issue of the taxation of its revenues, however it raises one condition, digi24.ro writes.
“The Church is open to talks on the issue of the taxation of its revenues if this issue is tackled jointly with the issue of the retrocession of all church properties confiscated by the Romanian state or the payment of compensations for them, in order for the Church to be able to have the necessary resources for upkeep and for financing its social-charitable work,” an official reaction to an article posted on adevarul.ro reads.
“So far only a small part of the Romanian Orthodox Church properties confiscated by the communist regime have been retroceded,” the communiqué shows.
“Several days ago, the Romanian Patriarchy explained in a press release that the revenues registered by churches are used for the payment of salaries, utilities, the maintenance of an important heritage consisting of churches and other religious buildings, and the financing of a significant social-charitable and educational-cultural work in the Romanian society and in the Romanian communities abroad,” the communiqué reads.
“The fact that the Romanian Orthodox Church is well organized and has the capacity to efficiently administer its properties has to be appreciated and promoted, not envied and denigrated. The vast majority of the approximately 800 social-medical and educational institutions and programmes (medical offices, therapy offices, retirement homes, foster homes and centres for other disadvantaged persons, kindergartens etc.), for the financing of which the Romanian Patriarchy’s bishoprics spent over RON 87 M last year (2014), are financed precisely from the revenues correctly and transparently registered by the Romanian Orthodox Church bishoprics. (…) We reiterate that the fiscal status of religious denominations in Romania is similar to that in most European Union states in which they are supported for their contribution to social life,” the aforementioned source points out.
“The media pressure exerted for a possible taxation of Church revenues has the goal of diminishing the support for the Church’s social-educational and social-charitable activities and of diminishing the role of the Romanian Orthodox Church in society. The Church is open to talks on the issue of the taxation of its revenues if this issue is tackled jointly with the issue of the retrocession of all church properties confiscated by the Romanian state or the payment of compensations for them, in order for the Church to be able to have the necessary resources for upkeep and for financing its social-charitable work. So far only a small part of the Romanian Orthodox Church properties confiscated by the communist regime have been retroceded. In conclusion, Church properties and revenues are today used to support the Church’s multiple activities in Romanian society,” Church representatives state.
Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici stated last week that possible talks concerning the taxation of certain revenues registered by religious denominations could take place only at the end of the year. The minister also stated that the taxation of small revenues resulting from the sale of candles and other religious items could be taken into account.

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