I don’t have much time right now to write a lengthy post on the “8 per mille” (that’s “8 per thousand”) religious tax. It’s an obligatory tax, and the taxpayer must choose which religious confession gets the money. If the taxpayer is a Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu he or she is out of luck. Their religions aren’t able to participate. In that case the taxpayer might simply not choose, or choose “State”, in which case the money almost certainly goes directly to the Catholic Church.
The UAAR has done an excellent job of informing the public on how this all works. Around 60% of Italians don’t choose, perhaps because they’re apathetic or have no idea what’s at stake. Only 37% or so actually choose the Catholic Church, yet the C.C. receives around 87% of the entire tax. Something’s clearly wrong with this picture.
If you understand Italian, this short video explains what’s going on (and how the C.C. spends the €1 billion or so they get as a freebie from the State each year.)