EU May Yank Vatican Tax Break Church could be handed $11B tax bill By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Oct 14, 2010 5:00 AM CDT 25 comments Comments The financial consequences for the Vatican will be grave if European authorities pull the exemption. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) (Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI may soon find himself stuck with an $11 billion tax bill. European officials are probing tax breaks Silvio Berlusconi gave the church on its 100,000 properties in Italy. If they decide the tax exemptions are unfair state subsidies for church run businesses, the Vatican will be required to pay back every euro saved. The probe is likely to send a shudder through church financiers already reeling from falling donations, potentially ruinous sex-scandal lawsuits, and a money-laundering probe of the Vatican bank, the Independent notes.