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Stimulus Check


Stimulus Check & Tithing  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you paying tithing on your stimulus check?

    • Yes
      19
    • No
      13
    • I don't know.
      3


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If you live in the United States, you may be receiving (or have already received) a stimulus check from the U.S. government. The check is classified as a tax credit. Will you pay tithing on it?

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Haven't decided. Also note that if the government does not have your bank account information from a previous refund or payment it may be months before you get the check. :( 

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6 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I haven't decided.  How does a tax credit work on next year's taxes?

According to my understanding, this credit does not affect next year's taxes.

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10 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I haven't decided.  How does a tax credit work on next year's taxes?

It barely interacts at all. Calling it a tax credit is technically correct but confusing. The only way it interacts (based on my understanding) with future taxes is that if you do not get it because you did not qualify based on 2018 or 2019 taxes but you do for 2020 income you will get the credit next year when you do your taxes.

The money is not taxable and is not going to be added to future taxes (absent new legislation of course).

If you did not use a bank account in last year or this year to pay taxes or receive a refund and you do not (or cannot) wait for the money the IRS is rolling out a way to give them that money. Otherwise it may not come until August. They can only print checks so fast.

Edited by The Nehor
clarity
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33 minutes ago, Thinking said:

If you live in the United States, you may be receiving (or have already received) a stimulus check from the U.S. government. The check is classified as a tax credit. Will you pay tithing on it?

It's always seemed to me to be a privilege to participate in building the Lord's kingdom in any way. 

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4 hours ago, Thinking said:

If you live in the United States, you may be receiving (or have already received) a stimulus check from the U.S. government. The check is classified as a tax credit. Will you pay tithing on it?

Yes. Tithing is paid based on income regardless of whether or not the government happens to tax that income. 

 

Edited by Amulek
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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Yes. Tithing it paid based on income regardless of whether or not the government happens to tax that income.

Tithing is supposed to be based on your increase.  Is this tax credit an increase?  Or is it a charitable contribution from the U.S. Gov't?  Or is it like unemployment compensation?  Do we ordinarily pay tithing on charity that is given to us (do we pay tithing on food from the bishop's storehouse, or on checks we receive from the bishop to pay our rent, or fill up our gas tank, etc?)?  Do we pay tithing on unemployment compensation checks from the State?  If we receive an expensive birthday gift, or a wedding gift, or just an engagement ring, do we pay tithing on those items?  Suppose our rich daddy gives us a new car -- do we then pay tithing on it?  Daddy paid the taxes, sans doute.  And the IRS always demands the tax on any big gifts from a casino or game show, be they in kind or in cash.  So do we pay tithing on paramutuel betting or casino winnings?

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1 hour ago, Amulek said:

Yes. Tithing it paid based on income regardless of whether or not the government happens to tax that income. 

 

Income has different meaning to different people and NO ONE is allowed to define it for anyone but themselves.

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I don't plan to pay tithing on it -- but I might, just because.

The nature of the tax is a tax credit. It will be paid in advance (mine is being direct-deposited on April 15, according to my bank), and it will be credited in 2021's tax return against 2020 income taxes. It not income, it is a reduction in income tax.  If you don't owe that amount in income tax, I am not sure if it will carry over to 2021 income tax. But it would almost have to. I have a old school friend who has been a tax accountant for 30+ years, and this is his assessment.

 

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2 hours ago, Thinking said:

According to my understanding, this credit does not affect next year's taxes.

It's actually an advance credit on 2020 income taxes. It is in effect a tax reduction on 2020 income.

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Yes for me, because:

a) it's income, pure and simple. It's incoming money. And, it isn't an advance on my tax refund, as some have claimed. It's actually income.

b) I've always preferred being simple and not trying to nickel-and-dime God by rationalizing this or that shouldn't be tithed (that lone piano key Bill Reel plunked away at, before he chose to go garden variety apostate podcaster). Since I have a W2 job (I get a check from The Man), it's always been easy to just pay on the gross and be done with it, without seeing how much I can rationalize paring my "increase" down to avoid my tithing liability. As the lone income for a family of six (and a teacher), I don't pay federal withholding and get a substantial "refund." I pay tithing on the gross amount of that, too. 

c) I will pay on my social security and pension (if they're still around when I turn 70), even though "I've already paid tithing on them." It just seems to me that too many people are trying to find ways not to have to pay tithing on things. 

---

I know some people will recoil in horror at this, but when people genuinely asked for my opinion as their bishop, I told them my counsel was to pay on the gross (assuming they weren't a small business owner, self-employed, farmer, etc. That can be more complicated than a W2 employee). Some here have been adamant that this is completely inappropriate, and that bishops should simply stick their fingers in their ears and say, "That's your own decision, and I can't give any input. La, la, la la . . ." I never felt that way when asked for counsel. 

 

Edited by rongo
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Tithing is supposed to be based on your increase.  Is this tax credit an increase?  Or is it a charitable contribution from the U.S. Gov't?  Or is it like unemployment compensation?  Do we ordinarily pay tithing on charity that is given to us (do we pay tithing on food from the bishop's storehouse, or on checks we receive from the bishop to pay our rent, or fill up our gas tank, etc?)?  Do we pay tithing on unemployment compensation checks from the State?  If we receive an expensive birthday gift, or a wedding gift, or just an engagement ring, do we pay tithing on those items?  Suppose our rich daddy gives us a new car -- do we then pay tithing on it?  Daddy paid the taxes, sans doute.  And the IRS always demands the tax on any big gifts from a casino or game show, be they in kind or in cash.  So do we pay tithing on paramutuel betting or casino winnings?

The last question is easy or at least used to be easy.  At some point it was in the handbook not to pay on gambling wasn't it?

Edited by Rain
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12 minutes ago, Rain said:

 

The last question is easy or at least used to be easy.  At some point it was in the handbook not to pay on gambling wasn't it?

That is what I remember.  

Edited:  reading an old thread from 2012 mfb says this is a myth, there is nothing in the handbook on it.

It may have been one of the Unwritten Order of Things rules.

Edited by Calm
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33 minutes ago, rongo said:

Yes for me, because:

a) it's income, pure and simple. It's incoming money. And, it isn't an advance on my tax refund, as some have claimed. It's actually income.

b) I've always preferred being simple and not trying to nickel-and-dime God by rationalizing this or that shouldn't be tithed (that lone piano key Bill Reel plunked away at, before he chose to go garden variety apostate podcaster). Since I have a W2 job (I get a check from The Man), it's always been easy to just pay on the gross and be done with it, without seeing how much I can rationalize paring my "increase" down to avoid my tithing liability. As the lone income for a family of six (and a teacher), I don't pay federal withholding and get a substantial "refund." I pay tithing on the gross amount of that, too. 

c) I will pay on my social security and pension (if they're still around when I turn 70), even though "I've already paid tithing on them." It just seems to me that too many people are trying to find ways not to have to pay tithing on things. 

I think it can get pretty complicated.  Do you pay tithing on gifts that are not money?  If so you pay on full price or sale price? 

Do you pay on items you got free at the grocery store because you had a coupon?  Do you pay on rebate checks?  Technically if I pay on a rebate check I should pay on a coupon as well.  And if I pay on gross and pay on my refund then I should technically pay on a rebate check.  They are all a reduction in what I would pay for goods or services which makes for an increase on my increase/income/money I have to spend.

Paying on some things can be complicated. Not paying on other things can also be complicated. So I'm good with having people counsel with the Lord over their own situations.

33 minutes ago, rongo said:

---

I know some people will recoil in horror at this, but when people genuinely asked for my opinion as their bishop, I told them my counsel was to pay on the gross (assuming they weren't a small business owner, self-employed, farmer, etc. That can be more complicated than a W2 employee). Some here have been adamant that this is completely inappropriate, and that bishops should simply stick their fingers in their ears and say, "That's your own decision, and I can't give any input. La, la, la la . . ." I never felt that way when asked for counsel. 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Rain said:

The last question is easy or at least used to be easy.  At some point it was in the handbook not to pay on gambling wasn't it?

So the gambler doesn't pay tithing on his winnings (ill-gotten gains), but those Mormons who are members of the clerical staff upstairs in the casino do pay tithing on the paychecks they get from the casino.

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9 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

So the gambler doesn't pay tithing on his winnings (ill-gotten gains), but those Mormons who are members of the clerical staff upstairs in the casino do pay tithing on the paychecks they get from the casino.

I didn't put it in the handbook.  Don't look at me.

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19 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Whether or not you feel you should give your opinion on the matter of what is a full tithe, do you at least let your ward members know that by doing so you are going against leader instruction?

Not speaking about you specifically, but I struggle with bishops in general who believe they are exceptions to counsel or instructions.  I can understand a bishop sharing his opinion when asked as long as he makes it very clear it is his opinion. 

I don't think I was going against counsel. When a member **asks** his bishop for counsel on paying tithing, I think a bishop giving that counsel is within the letter and the spirit of the handbook. They wouldn't have asked if they didn't want to know my view. I didn't go out of my way to impose my view on tithing on members who weren't seeking counsel. 

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21 minutes ago, Rain said:

I think it can get pretty complicated.  Do you pay tithing on gifts that are not money?  If so you pay on full price or sale price? 

Me, personally, yes on gift cards (value --- e.g., $5 for a $50 Target card, since there is no functional difference between $50 cash and the use of the card). If given an item as a gift, no. 

ETA: As I think about this, I think I've gone for simplicity. A gift card is easy to calculate; value of an item given to me is complicated.  

Quote

Do you pay on items you got free at the grocery store because you had a coupon?

No.

Quote

Do you pay on rebate checks?

Not applicable. I can't remember ever sending away for a rebate check. It never seemed worth the trouble to fill out the info and wait 12 weeks for a $5 check. :) But, we're not big spenders, on the sorts of things that come with substantial rebates, by any means. We can't be, with our financial situation. 

As for, say, cars, we only have bought used cars, and we drive them until they have 250,000 + miles on them, historically. So, we've never even had the "dealer rebate" or anything like that. 

Edited by rongo
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33 minutes ago, Calm said:

That is what I remember.  

Edited:  reading an old thread from 2012 mfb says this is a myth, there is nothing in the handbook on it.

It may have been one of the Unwritten Order of Things rules.

I don't believe it was ever in the handbook, one way or another. It's not like the Church would know tithing is from gambling, or anything else (say, a land sale). You just filled out the slip (or today, enter numbers in the field). 

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16 minutes ago, Rain said:

I didn't put it in the handbook.

No one did apparently.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

It's actually an advance credit on 2020 income taxes. It is in effect a tax reduction on 2020 income.

That is not the understanding I have.

Edit: And reading more I am convinced. The only possible change is that if you made money over the threshold in 2018 or 2019 and get a reduced amount or nothing and your 2020 tax return shows you made less and qualify for more you will get it then. If you make more as shown on your 2020 tax return even if that would have made you ineligible you do not have to repay it.

The only provisions I have seen is that because it is technically a tax credit and not a federal benefit your bank could take the money without your permission if you owe fees tied to a non-credit card loan or if you have some kind of pending fee on the account. For example an overdraft fee could be taken.

Edited by The Nehor
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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Tithing is supposed to be based on your increase

No, it's supposed to be based on "one-tenth of [your] interest annually," which is understood to mean income. 

 

Quote

Is this tax credit an increase?

I have always considered refundable tax credits such as this to be income and have tithed accordingly. YMMV. 

 

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