Deutsche Welle (Germany), Feb. 3, 2003
The Scientology Church, the target of government monitoring in Germany, has been granted tax-free status within the country, the church announced on Monday. Officials made the decision based on a tax treaty between Germany and the United States, where the church has tax-exempt status. The ruling covers license fees the church receives for information and training films. Until now, the church has paid a 25 percent tax on the income. That money will now be refunded. Critics consider Scientology to be a money-hungry, unscrupulous operation. Its activities are monitored in 15 of Germany’s 16 states by the country’s domestic intelligence service.