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Eight Per Thousand

Eight per thousand, or ''otto per mille'', is an Italian law. Under this law Italian taxpayers are able to vote who shall receive 0.8% ('eight per thousand') of the total amount raised by income taxes. The money may go to a religious confession recognised by Italy or, alternatively, to a social assistance scheme run by the Italian State. This declaration is made on the IRPEF form. People are not required to declare a recipient; in that case the law stipulates that this undeclared amount be distributed among the normal recipients of such taxes in proportion to what they have already received from explicit declarations. The Church of Waldenses and the Church of Assemblies of God in Italy refused to benefit from the undeclared portion.


Originally the Italian government of Benito Mussolini, under the Lateran treaties of 1929 with the Holy See, paid a monthly salary to Catholic clergymen. This money was meant as a compensation for the nationalization of Church properties after the unification of Italy. This salary was called the ''congrua''. The eight per thousand law was created as a result of an agreement, in 1984, between the Italian Government and the Holy See.

Current situation

The last official statement of Italian Ministry of Finance made in respect of the year 2004 singles out seven beneficiaries: the Italian State, the Catholic Church, the Waldenses, the Jewish Communities, the Lutherans, the Seventh-day Adventists and the Assemblies of God in Italy.

In 2000 the Catholic Church raised almost a billion euros, while the Italian State received about 100 million euros.

Source: Wikipedia