Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tithing your tax return?

Now that the 2012 tax season is over and you may have received your tax refund, I thought I would post about a question I occasionally hear. "Should I tithe on my tax return or not?" The short answer is you must do what you believe God is telling you. He wants a relationship with you and hearing from Him is far better than following a set of rules.

So, how do you hear what He is saying on tithing? I don't plan on making this post a treatise on hearing from God, so I'll just say it is either by reading or listening.

Here are some guidelines to consider.

In His word God says "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year." Duet 14:22. In this, "increase" means whatever you take in, your personal revenue or income. And "tithe" literally means one tenth. This is all familiar to those who regularly tithe.

As Pastor John Stocker has said countless times, seek God and tithe according to what He tells you and He will provide the blessing. It is your decision to tithe on gross income or net income. Seek God and ask Him to tell you, don't forget to stop long enough to listen for His answer. Personally, I read Deuteromony 14 as tithe on "all" my increase, gross income. And, I believe I have heard from God confirming this. Once again, I do not want to get into a theological study on gross vs net; you must do as you believe God is leading.

To those who regularly tithe, the answer to the question is based on how you choose to tithe your income. If you tithe on your gross income, the tax refund has already been tithed and you do not need to do it again; unless you decide to do this as a free-will gift. If you tithed on your net, the refund has not been tithed as yet and you should tithe on it now.

I hope this helps. As always, tithing is a God-given obligation, but remember "So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."