From the official news site for JWs (http://www.jw-media.org/newsroom/index.htm?content=/region/europe/france/english/releases/religious_freedom/fra_e041006.htm)
Notice the highlight, I wonder why this factoid was included??
French High Court confirms 60-percent confiscatory tax measure on religious donations
PARIS ? France's highest court of appeal, the Cour de cassation, has handed down its decision in a case between the Association Les Témoins de Jéhovah, a not-for-profit religious association used by Jehovah's Witnesses in France, and the national tax department, the Direction des services fiscaux.
Following a tax inspection lasting 18 months, the tax department established that Association Les Témoins de Jéhovah, whose sole revenue consists of religious donations by its adherents, was run in a completely benevolent fashion, and that its activities were not commercial or for profit. Nevertheless, the tax department levied a 60-percent tax on the religious donations made over a period of four years, between 1993 and 1996. This represents, on average, five euros per donor, per month. This is the first time in their 100-year existence in France that Jehovah's Witnesses have been taxed in this manner.
This taxation measure raises numerous objections relating to fundamental freedoms. It does not take into account the traditional practice of not taxing donations made to associations, both religious and humanitarian. It exorbitantly taxes not only religious contributions but also humanitarian donations, including those collected to help victims of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. In flagrant violation of the law respecting individual freedoms, during the tax inspection the tax department systematically compiled a list of each donor. Furthermore, this tax has not been imposed on any other religious organization in France.
The Association Les Témoins de Jéhovah has decided to institute proceedings against this confiscatory taxation before the European Court of Human Rights.
Media contact in France: Jean-Claude Pons (33-2-32) 25-55-55
Media contact in the United States: J.R. Brown (718) 560-5600