Is tithing tax deductible may be one of the most important tax questions that you will ever have to answer. In the Bible, tithing is a ten percent portion of your income, paid to God.
Taxes are a tricky situation, even more so when it comes to religious activities such as tithing. In short, tithing is when you give to the church. However, a question to consider, is tithing a tax-deductible transaction?
Now, morals or if deducting a tithe is right or wrong set aside, we are here to examine the facts.
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What the Bible Says About Tithing
The following is a quote from the Bible that shows the importance of tithing: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the window of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:10)
According to the Bible, the tithe is a “righteous offering” and should be given to God. But what is a “righteous offering”?
If you pay a tithe, then you are contributing to the support of the church. Tithing is a way that we give back to God what he has given us.
Your church can use the money for the needs of the church, or to pay the pastors and other workers who are working hard to support the church.
Is Tithing Deductible?
Yes, tithing is a tax-deductible transaction. According to the people at H&R Block,
“…the IRS considers church tithing tax deductible as well. To deduct the amount you tithe to your church or place of worship report the amount you donate to qualified charitable organizations, such as churches, on schedule A.”
Since most churches are non-profit organizations (kind of like a charity organization), it allows you to deduct your tithing contribution on your tax return.
Now it is largely up to you to keep track of the donations or contributions that have been made. For supporting documentation, you can reach out to your church and request a record of the contributions.
Another option is you can keep bank records of the tithes you have made throughout the year.
Remember: Keep track of your expenses and income on a spreadsheet or bookkeeping program such as FreshBooks.
Reporting the Amounts
As mentioned in the quote from H&R Block, the amount you wish to deduct will be input on schedule A.
If you have tithed more than $250 at any one time, then you must have physical proof of the tithing donations from your place of worship.
Without going into the weeds, there is always a debate of is deducting your gift right or wrong?
There is no easy answer, and the answer is what you believe is the right answer. Cryptic, I know.
What’s meant by that is on how you feel. For example, there have been ideas posted that if you deduct your tithing and those funds are used in good faith, then there should not be an issue.
However, the idea was brought up if you are solely using the tithe to deduct on your taxes, then it may be morally wrong.
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3 Easy Tips to Remember For Tithing
Let’s go through a few tips for you to consider with tithing and taxes.
1. Reduce the Contribution Amount
You can decide not to deduct 100% of your contributions, BUT REMEMBER that this depends on your emotions and beliefs towards tithing.
You may opt to only deduct a portion or none. I can not make that decision for you. It’s something that you have to decide. However, you are not required to deduct anything if you so choose.
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2. Keep Track of Your Tithing Contributions
Having an Excel spreadsheet is likely the most efficient way to track your donations. Since odds are you likely tithe on a weekly basis, quickly update an Excel spreadsheet every weekend with your amounts given. This will make tax time calculations a breeze.
3. Keep Track of Your Cash Withdrawals
Lastly, if you are tithing cash, you may want to withdraw the exact amount out of your bank account. The reason for this is you can accurately identify the bank transaction should the need arise.
So at the end of the day, yes, tithing is 100% tax deductible and can be done so on schedule A. Now, it is up to you if you want to input that information or leave it blank.
Depending on how much you tithe it could have a large impact on your taxes, but that will vary person to person. It’s a tax break that you should tax advantage of to help lower your annual bill.
Of course you may be like me the first time I did my taxes and wondered if it was an ethical thing to do, but the words from my pastor at Christian Worship Center in Leesburg, Florida helped me know that it was completely okay.
“Many churches today operate multiple entities outside the four walls of the church , child care centers, homeless shelters, food banks etc. The option to claim tax deductions to many congregants who today are living in higher tax brackets than previous years.
I believe this also will encourage people give more to their local church and will allow them to actually see where their dollars are going and toward causes that reflect their heart. This donation just like any other gift to an approved nonprofit will help reduce or eliminate a tax obligation to the federal government.”Pastor John H. Christian II
If you have any detailed questions, be sure to consult your tax professional. They will be able to help you find an exact answer for your current situation.
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