When you file your tax return in Italy, you can choose to whom you are willing to devolve eight per thousand of your revenue tax. You can choose between the State Treasury, the Catholic Church and a string of other little-known Churches, like the Italian Hindu Union. If you don’t choose, your quota will be devolved in proportion to the choice made by the other taxpayers.
However, since nobody wants to benefit the Treasury and there are few Hindus in Italy, the biggest share of your quota will go to the Catholic Church. Only people who are fiercely atheist or anti-clerical will know this mechanism and choose the State Treasury… or the Hindu Union.
In 2010, when the “eight per thousand” was worth more than a billion euros, 85 per cent of it went to the Catholic Church.