Czech church restitution tax signed into law, Constitutional Court battle likely

08-05-2019

President Miloš Zeman has signed into law a controversial proposal to tax money paid to religious groups in compensation for property seized under Communism.

The tax is due to take effect on January 1, 2020. But the Constitutional Court may well strike it down before the first tax payment come due the following year.

In late April, MPs overrode a veto by the Senate to tax the restitution income of 16 Czech churches and a Jewish federation which had their property seized by the former Communist regime.

Critics say the law, proposed by the Communists, is unconstitutional and unethical. The religious institutions had been awarded money in cases where the confiscated property could not be returned to its rightful owners.