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Spampinato v Italy

International: Tax and religion

Under Italian law 0.8% of income tax revenue is allocated to the State to the Catholic Church or to one of the representative institutions of five other religions. Taxpayers are required to indicate their choice for the allocation of the relevant percentage of income tax when they fill in their tax return. If no option is indicated the sum is divided between the State the Catholic Church and the institutions representing the other religions in proportion to the choices made by all taxpayers. In Spampinato v Italy (ECHR – 29 April) an Italian lawyer (S) applied to the ECHR contending that this obliged him 'to manifest his religious beliefs when completing his income tax return' and that this contravened Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR rejected S's contentions observing that 'taxpayers...

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