A friend of mine sent me a text…I think she sent it to several people as a “poll” of sorts. She asked, “How should you handle tithing on your tax return”. I thought it was a great question and I had an answer.
Before I answer the question. This question came right on the heels of me hearing the very best sermon I have ever heard on tithing. Seriously. Since I was sick on Sunday, I watched Pastor Mike Hayes (no relation to Pastor Chad Hayes although they could be brothers, practically). Click here to listen. They update this weekly so check it out this week. If you have ever had questions about tithing, he explains it in such a way that makes you want to tithe. Pastor Hayes made a very strong statement, he said (may be a little paraphrased), “If you do not tithe, I question if you are truly saved. Because tithing is about giving the one to redeem the nine. If you do not understand tithing, I am not certain you understand redemption.” The hubs and I listed to the message in this link on our drive today (this was not the exact message I heard on Sunday) and we cried. The Hubs said he had never heard a message on tithing that laid out so clearly why God purposed tithing. We have always tithed because my Momma ingrained tithing into me (she grew up a good Baptist and Baptist are great tithers). From when we were little girls, if we received a dollar we gave a dime. It was never an option. I am thankful for that heritage and now I understand more clearly, why we do it.
Pastor Randy Phillips who now pastors Promiseland West explained it to us like this. If, throughout the year, you pay tithes on your gross income (your income before taxes and everything else is taken out) then no, you would not have to tithe on your income tax return as you have already tithed on that as income. However, if you pay tithes only on your net pay (what you bring home) then yes, you should tithe on your income tax return as it is money you have not yet paid a tithe on.