Pope Francis

THE Spanish Catholic Church earned a record €284 million from taxpayers last year, figures have claimed. 

Some 7,191,387 people opted to make a contribution to the institution on their tax returns, 26,885 more than the year before.

According to the stats, revealed by the Spanish Episcopal Conference and the Catholic radio network COPE, the amount earned was a 6.19% increase on the year before and the highest since the tax system was introduced in 2007.

The system allows Catholic taxpayers to tick a box which donates 0.7% of their personal income tax (IRPF) to the religious body, at no extra cost.

The percentage was previously set at 0.5%.

The record haul was mostly thanks to the better-performing Spanish economy, which saw those who donated’s earnings increase.

Taxpayers aged between 40 and 60 were the most likely to donate to the church.

Some 32.6% of under 19s also ticked the box.

The figures are set to be confirmed by the Hacienda later this year.

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