Do we pay tithing on gross or net income?

Posted on November 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Tithing

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Question

Gramps,

Do we pay our tithing from our gross income or our net income? In other words, 10% of income before taxes, medical benefit premiums, retirement, etc. are subtracted, or 10% after these things are deducted?

I want to be honest with the Lord. Thanks.

Anonymous

 

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

A certain portion of our income is usually deducted by the company we work for, who pays that money to the government for taxes and to the insurance company for benefit premiums, etc. The company is acting as our agent to make those payments for us from our money. Not everyone who earns a salary has the opportunity for those automatic deductions, and he must pay them himself aftere he has received his pay check from the company.

If we were to pay only on our net income, perhaps we could have the company that we work for also make our car payments and house payments, etc. out of our income. Then we really wouldn’t have to pay much tithing! Our gross pay is our increase, no matter in what manner it is disbursed.

So it would seem to me that the proper course to pursue in paying tithing when we are reimbursed by periodic paychecks would be to identify the Gross Pay amount (that’s usually over on the left side of the check), move the decimal point one cipher to the left, and write a tithing check for that amount. It really doesn’t take any faith to pay tithing, especially it’s the first disbursement that we make. We have all the money that we receive. So there’s no problem in giving to the Lord his part first. Where faith comes in is in trying to live for the rest of the month on what we have left.

Gramps

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Do we pay tithing on gross or net income? - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
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In other words, 10% of income before taxes, medical benefit premiums, retirement, etc. are subtracted, or 10% after these things are deducted?
  • Larry Richman

    Pay tithing first. Give the first and best to the Lord—not what’s left over.

    When you ask yourself “Can I afford to pay tithing?”, my answer is that I can’t afford not to. You can do better on 90% with the help of the Lord than you can do with 100% on your own. It’s the best investment you can ever make.

  • Ken Trent

    Since the Church doesn’t have an official standpoint on net vs. gross tithing payment, wouldn’t that be a better response to this question? The reason we’ve been blessed with the Holy Ghost and open communication with the Lord through prayer is so we can answer tough questions like this. My first follow up question would be, “How do you feel about it?”

    FWIW, the other side of the discussion could state that we don’t “increase” from most of the taxes taken out of our paychecks. I’m not really here to debate the question, but would just like to point out that I’ve never been able to find an official Church position on this, and I can see both sides of the coin here. I think a more appropriate response is to cover the doctrine we DO have. “Teachers teach what Prophets preech.”

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