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Tithing: Pre-tax or After tax? Gross v. Net?


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#1 nimrod

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:17 PM

I couldn't find my answer in the Tithing Section, so I'm asking it here: A ward member gave a talk in Sacrament Mtg sunday on tithing. Twice, he said in the talk, that "you are not a full tithe payer unless you pay on your gross income." He also said, (twice) that "you are not a full tithe payer unless you pay on pre-tax income." I'm not trying to skimp the Lord here but I want people to make accurate statements, especially in sacrament meeting. As I know it, we are commanded to pay 10% of our interest (increase) annually. I don't think the Church has defined it as Gross, Net, Pre-tax, etc. Please indicate if I am wrong. Before giving an "opinion" on tithing, please indicate if you have a source that answers this question directly. :D (I know that IF you pay on your net, you need to pay on your tax return, but if you pay on your Gross, you do not need to pay on your return.) I bring this up, because a blanket application of "Gross Income" cannot be applied well across the board (self employed, sole proprietorship, investment income, etc) Also, what are your thoughts on paying pre-tax when wealthy people pay 70% tax and poor people pay zero to 5% tax (not right now, but it has been like this) AND, depending on how you answer this question, should one pay tithing on your "cash for clunkers" benefit/rebate? Disclaimer: I agree that people SHOULD/can pay as much to the Lord as they can. I just want true doctrine/teachings to be disseminated.

Edited by nimrod, 14 September 2009 - 07:19 PM.


#2 pam

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:20 PM

Can I refer you to this?

http://www.lds.net/f...es-tithing.html

#3 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:21 PM

I don't think there's any official clarification.

(personal opinion coming:)

Me, I pay on gross. I'd watch the tax refund issue, though. If you wind up getting more in tax refunds than you actually paid (which is entirely possible, given certain income levels and certain refundable tax credits) - IMHO, that's "income" and should be tithed.

Also, what are your thoughts on paying pre-tax when wealthy people pay 70% tax and poor people pay zero to 5% tax (not right now, but it has been like this)


I'm not sure it's particularly relevant. Tax is tax, tithing is tithing, and payments of one are not applicable towards amounts owing on the other.

AND, depending on how you answer this question, should one pay tithing on your "cash for clunkers" benefit/rebate?


IMHO: No; because it isn't "increase"--you already owned the car (which you presumably purchased years ago with post-tithing funds), and when you got the rebate you lost the car.

I bring this up, because a blanket application of "Gross Income" cannot be applied well across the board (self employed, sole proprietorship, investment income, etc.


My law firm is set up as an LLC. I only pay tithing on the amounts I actually pay myself out of the LLC's surplus. However, at some point twenty or thirty years down the road I'll retire and sell off my practice, and at that point I anticipate tithing 10% of the proceeds of the sale.

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 14 September 2009 - 07:27 PM.


#4 missingsomething

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:06 PM

I had a member tell me that I benefit from the taxes that I pay into the government even though its not an "increase" to me.... Im NOT saying I buy into this. Most bishops do not ask you how you are paying... gross or net then off tax return.... they just ask if you are paying a full tithe (because many believe it also includes your time, talents and services as well)... the reason is because this is something PERSONAL between you and the Lord. And my person motto is... if in doubt... pay it... afterall.... are you really gonna loose out for paying extra? Wont the Lord reward you for that? But you have to pray for that and do what is best for you. I used to pay on net then pay on my income tax return. Now I pay on gross... so my tax return is mine mine mine :)

#5 bytor2112

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:10 PM

I was told that it was on the gross by my Bishop and SP.
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#6 Gatorman

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:10 PM

And, my take is a little different. Tithing is supposed to be on your 'increase'. So, what is the definition of increase? I have seen numerous, including one that said increase is that which was left over after you had paid for all you had to pay for to live reasonably. Meaning, after home, food, etc, was dealt with. I dunno about that for myself. I pay on my take home. I pay on my income tax, if I get one. And, I have no doubt I am a full tithe payer, for what it is worth.

#7 john doe

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:12 PM

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#8 beefche

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:58 PM

I found this talk on tithing that will give you some things to consider.

LDS.org - Ensign Article - The Law of Tithing
I say that we need to teach our people to find their answers in the scriptures...But the unfortunate thing is that so many of us are not reading the scriptures. We do not know what is in them, and therefore we speculate about things that we ought to have found in the scriptures themselves. I think that therein is one of our biggest dangers of today."
--President Harold B. Lee, December, 1972

#9 lilered

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 06:12 AM

For the purposes of discussion. If tithing is paid on the gross amount of ones income through out life. Then when one retires and starts drawing social security, do they continue to pay tithing on the gross amount of their social security? If one pays tithing on the net amount of ones income throught life, when one retires and starts drawing social securiy do they continue to pay tithing on the net amount of their social security?

#10 lilered

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 06:17 AM

If one pays on simply the net amount of their income, it is possible they may not be paying a full tithing. This is how it could happen. If one were working a place of business where they were allowed to buy merchandise and have it deducted from their paycheck? EG: Dillards, Autoparts,etc.. They would in fact not be paying tithing on those items that were purchased thru payroll deduction. The same could be true for 401k deductions or other similiar retirement or savings plans.

#11 Gatorman

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:31 AM

Unless they pay tithing on the 401k payments when they retire.

#12 Hemidakota

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:37 AM

All it says in the handbook is pay 1/10 of one increase annually. If you pay net, anything that is interest, bonds, taxed, stocks, or other type of income is derived from for income source, whether it be monthly or annually, this is still tithed as a tenth. Now, the aspect of tithing for my view, is who money is it in the first place? Not mine but the Lords. When ever a church leader asks for money, I do not hesitate in giving and will ask, how much do you need. For those who accepted their temple covenants, should be living the Law of Consecration

#13 pam

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:47 AM

Hemi can I have some money? Oh wait..I'm not a Church leader. Never mind.

#14 RipplecutBuddha

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:33 PM

What is the purpose of paying a tithe? Why does the Lord ask us to do this in the first place? What is the money used for? As you answer these questions, the definition of a full tithe may be easier to reach. The purpose of paying a tithe is not only to provide financial resources for the Church, but to show humility, gratitude, and a giving spirit for what the Lord has given us throughout our lives. We cannot even claim to own the air we breathe, so what matter is it to give a tenth of our increase back to a generous God? Just as with other commandments, the real purpose is based upon spiritual needs and spiritual growth. The temporal benefits come to us because we live in a temporal world...right now. The spiritual benefits likely won't be fully realized until we move beyond this life and remember all the truths we knew before we came here. Why does the Lord ask this of us, and what would he want to give us in return for our obedience?

#15 Guest_Utahrulzz_*

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:48 PM

I was told that it was on the gross by my Bishop and SP.


I was told the exact same thing.

Thank You.

#16 cougarfan

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:53 PM

Perhaps if we pay a little more, like 12% of our gross then we can be sure we don't come up short. I don't want to get burned at the second coming.

#17 lilered

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:55 PM

All it says in the handbook is pay 1/10 of one increase annually. If you pay net, anything that is interest, bonds, taxed, stocks, or other type of income is derived from for income source, whether it be monthly or annually, this is still tithed as a tenth.

Now, the aspect of tithing for my view, is who money is it in the first place? Not mine but the Lords. When ever a church leader asks for money, I do not hesitate in giving and will ask, how much do you need. For those who accepted their temple covenants, should be living the Law of Consecration

;

Hemi: Therein lies the answer and I am in total agreement. Folks sometimes get into splitting hairs with the Lords money. When the right answer is simply live up to the Temple Covenants you have already made. Practice the Law of Consecration and the worries are over. ;)

#18 Just_A_Guy

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:05 PM

Perhaps if we pay a little more, like 12% of our gross then we can be sure we don't come up short. I don't want to get burned at the second coming.


With all due respect, if I'm living a telestial life I don't think tithing alone is going to save me. If I'm living a terrestrial life, I don't think the mere failure to pay tithing is going to get me burned either.

#19 Hemidakota

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:10 PM

Hemi can I have some money? Oh wait..I'm not a Church leader. Never mind.


:lol:

I was asked one time and I said no problem. Then when I looked into my wallet and remembered to never leave it on the kitchen counter, it was empty. Now, I usually do the same to her on occasions. ^_^

#20 Guest_Utahrulzz_*

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 02:23 PM

12% isn't a bad idea. Afterall, think of all the good the tithing money is doing around the world! There was an editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune not long ago about the Church spending "tithing" dollars on malls, some people just don't understand how The Lord works. Thank You!




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