Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Porfirije, has denied accusations that the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) does not pay taxes and said that neither the Church nor priests are outside the tax system of Serbia.
He underlined that, just like all other citizens, the Church pays VAT on all products and services and said that that the Church also regularly pays payroll tax and contributions on the salaries of its priests.
Porfirije also mentioned that no law exempts the Church from the tax system, although this is provided for in European laws regulating the work of religious communities that provide services of public benefit. “The only exception is that the Church is entitled to a refund of the tax paid for a dozen or so legally prescribed products closely related to worship, including incense, wax and the organs,” Porfirije said and called the claims that the church does not pay tax wrong and slanderous.
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