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poptart

Tithing

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So, how does it work?  Is it 10% of gross?  EBIT or net?  The mormon religion is pretty expensive isn't it?

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

Is it 10% of gross?  EBIT or net?

That's between you and God.  There's some folks that weigh in different ways, but ultimately it's you and God.  

1 hour ago, poptart said:

The mormon religion is pretty expensive isn't it?

That's not the attitude at all.

I owe everything to God..  Everything is His.  I acknowledge that.  Me donating 10% and keeping the other 90% is a gift I freely do.   

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Tithing in the Mormon Church is 10% of your increase which the Brethren have interpreted as income.  Anything more or less than this official statement is only an opinion.  In my opinion the argument between net and gross is a false dichotomy.  I believe that tithing is best understood as a tax on capital.  In other words tithing is based on the increase in your savings account and not on the amount of money you put into your chequing account.  Calculated this way means everyone can pay their tithing, even if it is a widow's mite.  Paying tithing on your cash flow doesn't make sense from a fiscal perspective because then it is a regressive and oppressive tax that puts a greater obligation on low income earners.  This understanding of tithing as a tax that is fair to all and makes all men and woman as equal before God makes sense to me because I believe that God is no respecter of persons.

All the best,

Bob

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Think of your partnership with your wife as a business.  Suppose your business earns a gross income of $100,000. But, you have $30,000 in salaries, $30,000 in supply costs, and $10,000 in capital equipment costs. How much did your business earn?  What is your increase? How much would you pay tithing on?

Edited by 2BizE

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If one thinks of it as having to give my money to the church, then it can be quite difficult.

But it really isn't about money (and it surely isn't about paying for blessings or temple access as church critics like to allege).   It is about sacrificial bonding to our Savior by returning to Him 10% of everything He has given us.

And yes, in some nations with confiscatory taxes, members have been officially told at certain points to tithe only after taxes.

(And if member cannot pay his tithing, he cannot keep the covenants he would make in the temple to give all of his time talents and resources to God (thankfully today we are generally only asked for tithing and a generous fast offering (more than the actual value of the two meals we don't eat each month).   Therefore not granting a Temple Recommend is not setting the person up to fail at important covenants he/she would make if he/she had a recommend.)

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2 hours ago, Coop said:

.....................  I believe that tithing is best understood as a tax on capital.  In other words tithing is based on the increase in your savings account and not on the amount of money you put into your chequing account. .....................

That's a new one on me, Bob.  The increase in one's savings acct.  Huh !!  So wage earners need not be concerned with gross or net income.  Only with what increases their savings account.  What about the farmer who just had a bad year, in which outgo exceeded income?  Does he owe zero?  Is the controlling document a profit & loss statement?  Or is it only how much his CD or IRA increased in value this year?  Das Kapital?

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1 hour ago, 2BizE said:

Think of your partnership with your wife as a business.  Suppose your business earns a gross income of $100,000. But, you have $30,000 in salaries, $30,000 in supply costs, and $10,000 in capital equipment costs. How much did your business earn?  What is your increase? How much would you pay tithing on?

Well, is your increase simply your net after expenses?  In that case, the increase would be $30,000, and your tithing $3,000.

“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.” (Deut 14:22)

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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15 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Well, is your increase simply your net after expenses?  In that case, the increase would be $30,000, and your tithing $3,000.

“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.” (Deut 14:22)

Certainly in the example proffered, $3,000 is the correct answer.  

 

Life is complex, that is why the brethren have left it up to each of us to determine our increase. 

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9 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Well, is your increase simply your net after expenses?  In that case, the increase would be $30,000, and your tithing $3,000.

Agreed.

The other controversial topic in my  opinion is the case of an inheritance.  You inherit 100,000.  Do you pay $10,000  or something else?

I look at it as if perhaps it is similar to a farming family.  The land is their "capital" which produces income- it is not "income".   It is the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Do you kill the goose and give the church a drumstick?

I think not.  If it were land would you sell 10% or give 10% in kind to  the church?

I think the proper thing would be to take the income off the investment and pay tithing on that.   So you inherit 100 k on Jan 1 and do well investing it and  make an 8% profit- that is the "increase".

Your increase was $8000.  10% of that is your tithing- in this case $800.   (in my opinion- any dissenters?)

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

That's a new one on me, Bob.  The increase in one's savings acct.  Huh !!  So wage earners need not be concerned with gross or net income.  Only with what increases their savings account.  What about the farmer who just had a bad year, in which outgo exceeded income?  Does he owe zero?  Is the controlling document a profit & loss statement?  Or is it only how much his CD or IRA increased in value this year?  Das Kapital?

Or what if he is a spend thrift and puts nothing in his savings account?

As a financial planner I see many people who make perhaps 200 k and spend 201k!

Seriously!!

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12 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Agreed.

The other controversial topic in my  opinion is the case of an inheritance.  You inherit 100,000.  Do you pay $10,000  or something else?

I look at it as if perhaps it is similar to a farming family.  The land is their "capital" which produces income- it is not "income".   It is the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Do you kill the goose and give the church a drumstick?

I think not.  If it were land would you sell 10% or give 10% in kind to  the church?

I think the proper thing would be to take the income off the investment and pay tithing on that.   So you inherit 100 k on Jan 1 and do well investing it and  make an 8% profit- that is the "increase".

Your increase was $8000.  10% of that is your tithing- in this case $800.   (in my opinion- any dissenters?)

 

 

I think the proper thing would be for the farmer (or other business owner) to pay himself a salary and to pay tithing on the salary. That way, there would be no year in which does not pay tithing, even if, in some years the farm fails to make a profit. 

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Whatever you do, please don't remove my privilege of paying tithing.

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The gross and net debate is always raging. I think it is up to the individual and between them and God. The definition of increase and income could be debated endlessly. Pray about it and move on. The church does not audit it's members.

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It's  100%.  Nothing belongs to you.  Everything is God's. 

But it's officially 10% of your increase.  (Supposed to be more).  Define increase however you like.

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They don't tell you how to pay it.   They are just hoping that you pay more.

 

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4 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I think the proper thing would be for the farmer (or other business owner) to pay himself a salary and to pay tithing on the salary. That way, there would be no year in which does not pay tithing, even if, in some years the farm fails to make a profit. 

So you get an inheritance and charge yourself to invest it?

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11 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Agreed.

The other controversial topic in my  opinion is the case of an inheritance.  You inherit 100,000.  Do you pay $10,000  or something else?

I look at it as if perhaps it is similar to a farming family.  The land is their "capital" which produces income- it is not "income".   It is the goose that lays the golden eggs.  Do you kill the goose and give the church a drumstick?

I think not.  If it were land would you sell 10% or give 10% in kind to  the church?

I think the proper thing would be to take the income off the investment and pay tithing on that.   So you inherit 100 k on Jan 1 and do well investing it and  make an 8% profit- that is the "increase".

Your increase was $8000.  10% of that is your tithing- in this case $800.   (in my opinion- any dissenters?)

 

 

If it comes to me in cash, I would pay in the gross, or $10,000.00. If it comes to me as an income property, I would pay on the income after expenses, such as repairs, property tax, utilities, etc.  If it comes as a personal residence, I would probably either take out a 10 percent mortgage on the appraised value, or pay ten percent of principle and interest on what a 30 year mortgage payment on 100 percent LTV would be. If I couldn't afford the 10 percent, I would sell the house or something else and pay 10 percent on the cash raised.   I wouldn't want to rob God of His income, or me of my blessings.  So I would give it a lot of careful thought.

Edited by Meerkat

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5 hours ago, Meerkat said:

If it comes to me in cash, I would pay in the gross, or $10,000.00. If it comes to me as an income property, I would pay on the income after expenses, such as repairs, property tax, utilities, etc.  If it comes as a personal residence, I would probably either take out a 10 percent mortgage on the appraised value, or pay ten percent of principle and interest on what a 30 year mortgage payment on 100 percent LTV would be. If I couldn't afford the 10 percent, I would sell the house or something else and pay 10 percent on the cash raised.   I wouldn't want to rob God of His income, or me of my blessings.  So I would give it a lot of careful thought.

But borrow money and pay interest to pay tithing?

Is that church policy?

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7 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

That's between you and God.  There's some folks that weigh in different ways, but ultimately it's you and God.  

That's not the attitude at all.

I owe everything to God..  Everything is His.  I acknowledge that.  Me donating 10% and keeping the other 90% is a gift I freely do.   

There's never an audit?  I'll be honest, i've read horror stories about people being audited by bishops.  Granted that stuff tends to be written by angry former mormons who were burned so I take it with a grain of salt.

 

Think what makes me wonder is why not just make the higher ups pay more and the poorer ones do service.  Since I've left WA i've more or less gone back to my buddhist roots.  Will still take mom out to church sometimes but we still go to the temple for things like the cherry blossom festival and what not.  (For people who don't know, outside of Hawaii and East Asia Buddhist temples are a focal point for Asian culture, in our case the Japanese one).  It's interesting, you have elderly Asians, mostly Japanese who volunteer and teach buddhist doctorine and even martial arts.  Kinda neat seeing all these kids learning traditional arts and customs from their Elders.  Don't really see anything like that here, closest i've seen is the occasional Catholic Church that's more immigrant heavy. 


Thought i'd add, the Catholic Church does a neat bit of service that's geared towards the wealthy, they tend to join groups like the Order of Malta and go to the nastiest places out there, ones that Mormons would withdraw missionaries from.  The passage fees are like 1-2k yearly but hey, you're a legit part of the most famous Catholic Order that's been around since the crusades. 

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

But borrow money and pay interest to pay tithing?

Is that church policy?

 “The simplest statement we know of is the statement of the Lord himself, namely, that the members of the Church should pay ‘one-tenth of all their interest annually,’ which is understood to mean income. No one is justified in making any other statement than this” (First Presidency letter, Mar. 19, 1970).

Since it would be between me and the Lord, if I wanted to keep the house as a primary residence and didn't have liquid funds to pay the tithing, I might mortgage the house, as I might for a tax bill.  I see tithing as more critical to my welfare than any other bill.  Keeping it as an investment property would also solve the problem.

I think the idea of tithing on the estimated mortgage payment fails because it doesn't resolve the "one tenth of all their interest (or increase) annually" requirement.   Hence the importance of giving it a lot of prayerful consideration.

Edited by Meerkat
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1 hour ago, poptart said:

There's never an audit?  I'll be honest, i've read horror stories about people being audited by bishops.  Granted that stuff tends to be written by angry former mormons who were burned so I take it with a grain of salt.

There is never an audit of an individual member, and as far as I'm aware, there never has been. It's all based on the honor system as to whether someone paid a full tithe or not.

The only audits are of the ward/branch finances by the stake auditor and the stake finances by a regional auditor to make sure all funds are accounted for and used properly.

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2 hours ago, poptart said:

There's never an audit? 

Here's the extend of the 'audit': Bishop asks "are you a full tithe payer".  You say yes or no.

Simple as that.  

2 hours ago, poptart said:

Think what makes me wonder is why not just make the higher ups pay more and the poorer ones do service. 

God is no respecter of persons.  And if someone truly needs help with money, they can come to the bishop about it.

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Church employees are audited to make sure they pay their tithing.

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