The real reason I started writing about tax returns earlier is because I saw an advert for the por tantos campaign on one of the web sites I visited this morning.
That’s this year’s campaign to get people to tick the box on their declaración de la renta to give a contribution to the Catholic church.
The website for this programa para el sostenimiento económico de la Iglesia reassures you that no pagarás más, no te devolverán menos, although, presumably, if the money comes out of the amount that the tax office would have collected otherwise, it does mean there will be less money for all the other things the country has to finance. So, although ‘you won’t pay more and you won’t get less money back’, I imagine there will be less money for state schooling, health care, and other social services. Perhaps if you’ve paid your share to the church you think they will look after you.
Actually the thing that caught my attention was the script of the advert. It was a short animation of six screens, where each screen showed a symbol with a text beneath it. The texts were these (the English translations are mine):
- más de 22.000 parroquias – over 22,000 parishes
- cientos de edificios – hundreds of buildings
- más de 5.000 centros de formación – over 5,000 educational institutions
- en todas las cárceles del país – in all the jails around the country
- más de 20.000 sacerdotes – over 20,000 priests
- Marca la X a favor de la Iglesia en la Declaración de la Renta – Tick the box for a donation to the Church on your tax return
Perhaps if 4 and 5 were reversed I’d feel more inclined to tick the box.