Orthodox Priest Constantin Necula, Missionary, Pastoral and PR Councillor of the Transylvania Metropolis announced in an interview for Agerpres on Friday that the Romanian Patriarchy has been working for half a year on an initiative aimed at taxing the Romanian Orthodox Church, adding that he fully agrees with this development, part of a general European trend.
“I fully agree and I know what draft bill has been in the works and in what manner the Romanian Patriarchy has been working for almost six-seven months to come up with a way of taxing the Church, because it will be very difficult. And then, finally, we will see that there is nothing to tax. I look forward to that! I look forward to taxing the church, in a context where we will return to the church absolutely everything that it is due and we will not go to courts anymore, which sometimes forget to give us back the files they received, sometimes after six years,” he said.
On the subject of taxing the Church [editor’s note: actually, all the officially recognized cults], Father Necula says he is convinced that this will be “the general European trend.”
He added that he is looking forward for the Romanian Orthodox Church to be taxed also because he hopes that after that he will “not be cursed at anymore, as a priest.”
A press release of the State Secretariat for Cults stressed in October that the new Tax Code provides religious associations with tax incentives in what regards religious activity. The code extends taxation also on lands used by cults and religious associations for economic activities, but does not tax the buildings used for religious activities by officially recognized denominations.
Similarly to the old Tax Code, revenues obtained from manufacturing and valuing objects and products necessary for religious activities, rents, disposal /alienation of tangible assets, other revenues obtained from economic activities, income from compensation under property restitution laws, are not subject to tax, provided that money is used in the current year or in the subsequent years to maintain and run places of worship, for construction, repair and consolidation works on places of worship and ecclesiastic buildings, for education, for providing in their own name/in partnerships social services accredited in conformity with the law, for specific activities and other not-for-profit activities of religious cults.
During the past days’ street protests in Romania, many voices also asked for the taxation of the Church.