Do you tithe on your tax return?

Amatachick mentioned this in [another thread] but I thought it was worthy of it’s own thread.

So do you tithe off of your tax return? Though that begs the question, do you tithe on your income before taxes or after taxes?

Personally, we tithe on our income before taxes, so I don’t feel that we should tithe on our return because that money has already been tithed from (Or is that just being stingy?).

How do you determine your tithe, pre or post income taxes? Why?

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  1. bobv

    Hey Matt,

    Great question and one I get a lot at my church. Personally, I tithe pretax, from my “first fruits” so to speak. That is usually what I recommend to people. As far as tithing on my tax refund… I remind people that God loves a cheerful giver. What we give back to God should come from what God places on our hearts to give rather then getting tied up in too many questions. I like to think a tithe is the minimum we should be giving back to God and that as we reach a point of contentment, we become generous givers, giving back to God above and beyond the 10%. It makes a lot of the decisions about what tithing mean, moot.

  2. KrozFan

    My wife and I base our tithe off of our pre-tax earnings, so no we don’t tithe from our refund (also that would require actually getting a refund so that hasn’t applied the last two years anyway). I don’t feel that it’s stingy either, never really thought of it before but you did your tithe already so it’s taken care of. We decided to do pre-tax because we just felt like it was one of the things we should do first, and also because I wanted to invest based off of our pre-tax earnings and I would have considered it cheating if I was investing pre-tax and tithing post-tax.

  3. nizzie

    i’ve talked about this with an older sibling, since he was the first one in the family (of the kids, anyways) to hit this issue. i can’t remember what he ended up doing (i think tithing pre-tax) but when i started my first perm job last year, i felt like i had to tithe pre-tax. not “had” in that sense, but probably more like compelled to, since God’s been incredibly faithful when it’s come to my finances in the first place. i have been gradually working on increasing the percentage and then giving on top of that to people/places when i do my monthly bills, so i’m sure a portion of my tax refund will find its way to someplace other than my savings account. i’m just thankful i’m getting anything back when i was expecting a tax bill!

    to what will you look for help if you will not look to that which is stronger than yourself? (c.s.lewis)

  4. bob

    You know I used to tithe on the after-tax money, and then God kind of revealed to me that I needed to adjust to pre-tax (which now seems like a no-brainer, but at the time it was revelation)… I was thinking about it a bit and back in the bible days, they didn’t have the government to pull the funds out of each paycheck… So they would have their earnings, then tithe on it, and then at a later date the taxes were paid to the tax man – so they always were paying pre-tax – they didn’t have the withholding issue to deal with that we do today…

  5. Tristan

    You know I used to tithe on the after-tax money, and then God kind of revealed to me that I needed to adjust to pre-tax (which now seems like a no-brainer, but at the time it was revelation)…-bob

    I hear ya, Bob. I went through the same thing.

  6. geekgirl4god

    This is an interesting discussion and something that I will have to think about.

  7. Amatachick

    Wow. I didn’t think I’d get to be a basis for a thread. It is funny this was brought up though. I’ve always tithed off my refund, personally. My husband on the other hand takes the view that we’ve already tithed on this money so it’s not necessary.

    In the past I’ve been the one writing the checks for tithe and just letting him know how much it comes out to. This year however, he’s been much more involved in the finances and has actually taken over writing up our monthly budget and such. Since I’ve always tithed on that amount I didn’t think much of it when we were discussing what we’d do with the refund, but after I mentioned tithe he explained how he felt about it. Since God places the husband as the spiritual lead of the household I will follow his direction on this one. So, this year it turns how we will not be giving that additional tithe, but rather will be putting the whole thing towards debt.

    I’m a person who really likes giving our money away to charity so I’m quick to tithe on just about anything. According to my husband, I would probably give away all of our money if I could . I guess it’s good that God put us together so we can balance each other out.

  8. CoolHappyGuy

    I’m a tither have been for virtually all of my churchgoing life. However, I do NOT tithe on my tax refund (You did mean refund didn’t you? Tax return is the IRS filing which may or may not result in a refund. Pardon my inner Pharisee! )

    I don’t do this because a tax refund is essentially change back from the US Government on the taxes you have paid throughout the year. If you tithe on the gross amount of your paycheck — and I do — you have already tithed on this part of your money. So, it would be like tithing on the change you get back from [insert retailer name here] when you buy groceries.

    Having said that, we know that the Lord looks on your heart. I would never discourage anyone from FREELY giving anything. I’m just saying what I do and why I do it. If the you feel impressed to tithe — I absolutely say GO FOR IT!

  9. hermanajo

    I liked what one of the first posters said. You should tithe based on pretax because it is your first fruits (what you actually earned). Tithing on your tax return–good points about it has already been tithed against if you are tithing from pre tax. However, God loves a cheerful giver and I am sure that we have all included our tithing in the charitable contributions credit.

    I am a firm believer that if we tithe correctly and give of ourselves monetarily as well as service, God will bless us in more ways than we could count. He gave his son for our sins. What can we give back to him?

  10. pastorSheryl

    I like to Tithe on any income that I receive – if a person senses a prompt from the Holy Spirit to tithe on the gross then that is what they should do. Obeying when we are prompted to do so. If an individual wants to tithe on their income tax return then so be it, it’s income still – perhaps put it towards an offering or to charity.

  11. clydewolf

    It is a tax refund.

    You are receiving the tax refund because you have already paid too much tax.
    It is a return of your excess tax paid or collected.

    When you have large refunds, it indicates you need to do some tax planning and lower your withholding. Talk to your payroll dept. and submit a new W-4 form.

    Suppose I go to my local meat market and purchase some ground round, and pay the cashier $20. The next day the meat market calls and says they overcharged me by $2, and refund me that amount. Should I tithe on the $2?

    With your income tax, the government is doing the same thing, refunding your over payment.

    Making an extra gift because you received a tax refund is a good idea, but it should not be considered a tithe.

    If you owe additional tax, would you decrease your tithing by 10% of the additional tax you owe? I hope not.

  12. Dupin

    Absolutely Not!

    Although you are more than welcomed to donate any percentage of that amount to your church or favorite charity.

    The tax return as explained by clydewolf is simply a refund. Do you tithe the money you receive from other refunds?