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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

Since you seem to have the answers to lots of church questions I wondered what would be the correct amount to pay tithing on in the following circumstances: If someone receives some inheritance money, do they pay tithing on it. I would have thought yes but then someone pointed out that another person received a piece of land in the same settlement and they could not tithe a tenth of the land. The next question is if someone sells a business what would be the correct amount to pay tithing on? Would it be the full amount they sold it for or the capital gains amount or the amount left over after all closing costs and fees and bills are paid?

Margo

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Answer

 

Dear Margo,

Members of the Mormon Church are counseled to pay tithing on their gross income. This is a straight forward process for wage earners. One generally receives a paycheck containing two figures–gross income over on the left side, and net income over on the right side. One considers the gross income figure on the left side. The process is to move the decimal point on that figure one decimal place to the left, and pay that amount.

One would not consider paying a tenth of the net amount of the check, because the company has acted on behalf of the wage earner to spend part of his income. That could include insurance premiums, withholding tax, contributions to a retirement fund, etc. All of that money belongs to the employee, and the employee has authorized the company for which he works to may payments for and in behalf of the individual from his own income.

If the tithing payment is made as the first check written it doesn’t even require any faith to pay tithing. There should always be more than that amount in the check book. Where faith comes in is trying to live for the rest of the month on what you have left.

Paying tithing on income from a business is another matter. Let’s say that the business is wholly owned by one person, and he receives as personal income everything that the business makes. In the first place, he must deduct from the business income all expenses associated with running the business. All income over expenses is considered profit. He would then pay tithing on his gross income over business expenses, or on the profit of the business..

Now let’s say that a person receives a parcel of land as an inheritance, and he would like to pay tithing on that increase to his wealth. Tithing payment could be made in several ways, depending on the size of the property.

1) He could subdivide a tenth of the property and deed it to the Mormon Church.

2) He could subdivide a tenth of the property, sell it and give the income to the Church.

3) He could subdivide any portion of the property, sell it and give the prorated value of one tenth of the property to the Church.

4) He could sell all the property and give ten percent of the value received to the Church.

5) He could consult with his bishop and follow his recommendations.

Now, considering dividing off a piece of property to sell in order to pay tithing on the total inheritance, which piece should be cut off for disposition–the poorest tenth, or the best tenth? If you were serving a dinner to the Lord, would you give him the choicest cut or would you serve him the left overs? The principle is the same.

Concerning tithing to be paid from selling a business. The Mormon Church counsels its members to pay tithing on their increase. The increase, or income, from selling a business would be whatever amount accrued to the owner after costs associated with the sale itself were met.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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