I'm a Mormon and I know that tithing records are viewed as a confidential matter
between members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the lay
leader of their church congregation, they also art not tax deductable either.
Now a can of worms are opened up not only for the Romneys in the
midst of a presidential campaign, that those donations are now a matter of
public record, but with all other's that make one fill out a "MEANS
Test" and on all tax returns.That's what is good about America,
it's called equal.Then we'll all have to show it as well.Thanks Mitt. This financial crisis raises questions about
capitalism itself. Capitalism has always, and will always be, prone to
traditional market failures.This failure was compounded by the view
held by some that finance could even constitute the next phase in the natural
evolution of capitalism (from agriculture to industry, services and, ultimately
finance), illusions that were abetted by patchy prudential regulation, bad
incentives and horrid compensation practices. Society as a whole
produced and consumed too much finance, especially through a disruptive
technology that was insufficiently understood and tested. My
This IS a matter of public record. Mitt Romney is running for a
PUBLIC office! Mitt Romney is now finding that he is accountable to
the people... **'Romney campaign battles Dems, Press over issue of
transparency' - By Barrett Haake - NBC News - 11/17/11 "There
it was this morning, on the front page of the Boston Globe, a headline no
campaign ever wants to read: Before leaving office, Romney staff wiped
records." **'Firm dissolves after giving pro-Romney PAC $1
million' - By Ken Thomas - AP - Published by DSNews - 08/04/11 In
SPITE of his actions. **'Romney opens up a bit more to media
scrutiny' - By Charles Babington - AP - Published by DSNews - 12/07/11 'Numerous Romney supporters had expressed concern over reports of him dodging
" they also art not tax deductable either. "How are they
not? I thought that was the entire purpose of the tithing slip having the second
copy, so that you could keep it for tax receipt purposes. Personally I never
attempted to take tax deductions on them though because I think it's immoral to
make a donation and then pass along part of the bill to future generations (you
taking a tax deduction means less revenue for the gov't which means a higher
deficit which means a larger national debt).
Chuck,You need a new accountant if you think charitable donations are not
atl134,By your logic, you should be writing extra checks to the government
each month to try to pay down that debt. It's the moral thing to do.
@alt134, I completely agree with you. I don't deduct any charitable
contributions, including money I give to my church for the reasons you give and
also because I think that true charity must be given without the expectation of
Is it really "charity" if it isn't going to the poor and needy?In my opinion it isn't.
atl134. If that is how you feel then that is great. But trying to apply a
moral or immoral qualifiers to what the government actions are or allow you to
do is a very slippery slope.
One reason to provide tax deducations for donations to charitable organizations
is that they reduce the tax needs of the state. For example LDS Employment
Services, which is largely funded through tithing dollars, reduces the cost of
state employment services. I can give several other examples.This
is definantly the logic behind making many donations tax exempt. If you do not
think donations should be tax exempt, lobby for a change in the tax code.
However it is neither unethical or immoral to take tax exemptions. Next people
will be claiming the per child tax exemption is unethical.
Tithing is a charitable contribution so it is tax deductible. Charitable
donations are given free-will. As long as the entity receiving the donation is a
registered non-profit with the proper category in the IRS code, your donation to
that entity is tax deductible. If you think the government would do more
good with your money than you, or your charitable organization could do with it,
then by all means give more to the government - they know how to spend money -
they're just not so good at getting serious with their budget, so out of every
dollar they take in ($2.8T Revenue)will go to pay just interest on our National
Debt ($0.8T interest), so almost 30 cents of every tax dollar goes to paying
interest only on the national debt.
'One reason to provide tax deducations for donations to charitable organizations
is that they reduce the tax needs of the state.' - John Pack Lambert of Michigan
| 1:31 p.m. Jan. 24, 2012 And this, is true. ...unless
you are gay. **Catholic charities ends Illinois adoption civil
unions dispute By Sophia Tareen AP Published by the DSNews 11/15/11 The group had wished to continue its state contracts, while also referring
unmarried couples who want to be adoptive or foster parents to other agencies,
citing principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience. The
state of Illinois had said that longstanding practice is discriminatory, a
violation of the new law, which allows unmarried couples gay or straight to
legally enter into civil unions. - article Hard to claim religious
charities 'help' Americans... when they are selective as to WHICH
Americans, they will assist.
@UteMiguel"By your logic, you should be writing extra checks to the
government each month to try to pay down that debt. It's the moral thing to do.
"Then conservatives should give up gov't services because they
believe it's immoral to be spending so much.Personally I support
both spending cuts and tax increases to work towards a balanced budget.
Good job clark and alt, living the law at a higher level and then judging others
by the new standards you have created. I almost ex-communicated myself for
lusting over a can of coke one time.
atl134,I believe you've mentioned that you're currently or were
recently a student, which means there's very little chance that itemizing your
deductions (which is the only way to take advantage of charitable contributions)
was more lucrative than just taking the standard deduction, so it's a little
disingenguous for you to take a moral stand on that. Besides, why is it immoral
to claim a charitable contribution deduction but not immoral to take the
standard deduction, or claim a deduction for property taxes paid, or claim a
deduction for mortgage interest paid, or claim expenses in your personal
business, etc., etc., ad nauseam. Get my drift?And again, there is
a world of difference between reducing revenues and increasing expenses.
Pagan,Afraid it's not just religious charities that discriminate.
Think of all the scholarship foundations that help people based on certain
demographics, such as race, gender, or career aspirations. Or charities that
help women who need prenatal care or abortions.All these examples
would also be deductible under tax law, and they also discriminate.
Adoption placeing is done to help the children, not for the good of the parents.
Most adoption agencies have policies that limit what parents can adopt. On the other hand, the use I mentioned, LDS Employment Services, is open
to all who wish to use it. They do not make inquiries about any background,
they just seek to help those who show up to get jobs. They do not even give
people drug tests.
@screenname"I believe you've mentioned that you're currently or were
recently a student, which means there's very little chance that itemizing your
deductions (which is the only way to take advantage of charitable contributions)
was more lucrative than just taking the standard deduction, so it's a little
disingenguous for you to take a moral stand on that. "You may
be right, I'm not sure since my dad takes care of my taxes and I've just
neglected to mention charitable contributions over the years. However, I've been
operating under the assumption that itemizing those would have helped me so even
if they wouldn't have, I thought they would and chose not to list them so it's
not disingenuous. "there is a world of difference between
reducing revenues and increasing expenses. "When it comes to
the national debt, there isn't one bit of difference. A dollar more expense or a
dollar less revenue is still a dollar more to the bill for future generations.
Just a guess, but wouldn't it be ironic if the real reason ClarkKent or atl134
so "nobly" don't take a tax deduction for their charitable
contributions is they take the standard deduction because they don't have enough
deductions to take advantage of itemizing?
Tithing ISN'T Charity.Charity are the OTHER little boxes on the
slip.You know:Fast OfferingHumanitarian AidPerpetual EducationOther (Specify) [i.e., Japan Tsunami, Haiti
Earthquake, ect.)Besides -- Romney only paid ~5.5% Tithing based on
his income tax.But I'm sure his Accountant/Lawyers told is it was a
perfectly "Legal" tithe -- and not $1 more.
Yes they are. Always have been. I don't count mine because I think that doing
that makes the Tithe Count Less. However that is just me. I don't deduct stuff I
give to Goodwill or Kidney Cars but that is just me. It is Tax Deductable.If you
do not have my hang up about it take it, its legal. I do take my
mortage Interest.In my case I would not want everyone to know just
how little I do give. That is not braging just a fact of life. We are at around
3% and as a result do not have TR's. Not planning on going to the Temple any
time soon, or giving more money to the Church. I am not mad or anything just
cheap and suffer sometimes for it.I am still as Mormon then Mitt
will ever be.Yes it is private but when you are running for public
office everything is public. Mitt knows this.Back in the day people
used to Tithe with Chickens and Livestock as there was little cash. Titheing with things other then Cash goes back to the Start of Religion.Mitt did nothing wrong.
So what if he pays a Tithe to the Savior Jesus Christ's Church? What is wrong
with that? This is his chance to STAND FOR THE RIGHT! Anyone who criticizes him
for it ought to be ashamed of themselves! Here is a chance to stick win the
"Evangelicals", Catholics and all "Christians". Stand for
your moral character Mitt and be proud of the fact that you pay your tithes and
offerings to the Church of JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS! That is exactly
how I would phrase it, put the "MORMON" phrase on the Media and
correct them, Tell people to do research on members of the CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST OF LDS for themselves and dare them NOT to take the word of someone else,
tell them straight up, would you go to a NAZI to learn about the Jewish people,
or would you talk to a Jewish Person, The Savior Himself said, By Their Fruits
you shall know them. Almost all of those claiming Members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of LDS to be members of a cult have gotten they're information from
Propogandaists who tell half truths and distorted facts. Learn the facts!
@Simple Man"wouldn't it be ironic if the real reason ClarkKent or
atl134 so "nobly" don't take a tax deduction for their charitable
contributions is they take the standard deduction because they don't have enough
deductions to take advantage of itemizing? "I have never
thought about that possibility until someone a few posts ago mentioned it. It's
new information to me. I have been working on the assumption that I am giving up
something by not reporting the charitable contributions I make. Since I am
thinking I am giving something up (regardless of whether or not I actually am)
then my motive is sincere, though possibly misguided. If you must know I donated
2% of my income to charity last year, an amount that I am sure will now be
Most Americans are not thought tithing and it shows.
Mitts tithing is commendable. Anyone looking to make a negative out of it is
misguided and partisan.
You can bet with 100% certainty that it will be politicized. I have to give Mitt
alot of credit for hanging in there among all the trash and misinformation that
he has to put up with. I think I would just live off my investments, get back to
my family and say to heck with this running for president crap...it ain't worth
it! It seems like all the GOP and Tea Party folks want is a "showman"
instead of a real CEO problem solver anyway. I trust Mitt more than anyone to
turn this economy around but he will never get the chance. Gingrich is more of
the pure politician and showman and Mitt is just sort of vanilla. Obama was
elected 100% on fluff in 2008 and zero substance and maybe that is an indictment
of the American people and how shallow and clueless we have become.
RanchHand - are you saying donations to the LDS Church don't help the poor and
alt123While we rarely agree I have to applaude you for your posts
here. They have been both intelligent and sincere.
Comparing Mitt to NewtFrom Bloomberg: The Gingriches reported
$81,133 in charitable donations, according to tax documents they released Jan.
19. The sole named benefactor, the Basilica of the National Shrine in
Washington, received $9,540, and it paid wife Callista Gingrich $5,918. She is a
member of the choir. Another $68,493 in charitable deductions were listed as
gifts from Gingrichs companies to unidentified charities. The rest, $3,100, was
labeled miscellaneous donations.Me:Newt donated $9,540 to his
church, and $5,918 of that came back paying his wife's choir position. Net for
their church about $3,600. 0.1% to his church. If he'd paid 15% tax (like
Mitt), do you think he'd do his church any better? Mitt's 17% to
church and charities is astounding!
LDS Liberal - I disagree that tithing isn't charity. I don't think there is
enough money paid in fast offerings, etc to help people around the world when
Pagan - why are you so interested in Mitt Romney providing private information
but excuse Obama from providing his personal information? Why isn't Obama
accountable? You seem to have a double standard.
atl134,Your charity, however large or small, is commendable. I
doubt anyone would sincerely scoff at that. However, I will scoff at your idea
that taking a deduction is immoral, and that not paying money that is not owed
is somehow increasing expenses. By your line of reasoning, my
company offering a sale on my product is giving money away to my customers.
It's not. It's not reducing my revenues. My customers don't owe me anything
LDS Liberal,"Besides -- Romney only paid ~5.5% Tithing based on
his income tax."Very Christian of you to point something like
It is unfortunate that tithing is being dragged into the political conversation.
It should be a confidential and sacred act, not used as a symbol of politics or
judging others or he's-better-than-the-other-guy talk.I grew up a
Protestant. As a convert of long ago, I know there is a great difference in
religions regarding what tithe means. There is no stigma or reward or blessings
from donations and offerings in most other Christian churches. However, in our Church, there is a great deal of emphsis placed on tithing.
It is a commandment. It is tracked. It has determination as to what
assignments members can have. And if they advance in the Priesthood. If they
can enter the Temple.There is a huge difference between what tithing
means in the Church versus outside.Again, tithing should be kept
confidential. It should not even be discussed out in public. It is a sacred
So the result of all of Gingrich's blathering is that it shows Romney made
money? Check! That he donated a substancial Sum to Charity? Check! That Romney
was honest in paying his taxes? Check! And Gingrich is a Cheap Skate who has
little compassion for the poor or suffering? Check! And Vice President Biden and
the President are even cheaper? Check!
First, the title of this article is absurd. Of course he wants it
politicized...provided it makes him look good. That was clear from his comments.
To assert that he would prefer to keep all this private is unlikely at best.Second, who cares? I know the DN likes to make much ado about anything
mormon but the rest of the country is only wondering how this rich kid can
really relate to their circumstances. Yeah, I know, Mitt was only modestly rich
before and he really had to struggle to get really, really rich. I
don't care that he is rich. Donald Trump is rich and he is completely
unqualified to be president. My problem with Mitt isn't his money it's his
integrity. This is a guy that will say whatever is popular at the moment to get
ahead. He wants to be president more than anyone else wants him to be president.
In fact, I can't remember a candidate in the GOP towards which there was this
much trepidation. His background and having grown up with a silver
spoon in his mouth and wearing khakis out to play only reinforces the belief of
the masses that this guy doesn't understand what it's like for the majority of
Americans who actually have to earn their way through life. He won't do well
with staunch conservatives, won't do well with libertarians, won't appeal to the
masses...don't worry, Wall Street Bankers love him and that's what will keep him
in the hunt.
'Pagan - why are you so interested in Mitt Romney providing private information
but excuse Obama from providing his personal information?' - Woodyff | 4:05 p.m.
Jan. 24, 2012 You mean... Obama's long form birth
certificate?? **'Obama shows birth certificate' - By Ben Feller - AP
- Published by DSNews - 04/27/11 And 'yes' it actually WAS after the
state of Hawaii verified Obama's birth certificate, more than two YEARS
earlier: "I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii State
Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by
the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in
Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen." - Hawaii: Obama birth
certificate is real - USA Today - 07/28/09 - By Dan Nakaso, The Honolulu
Advertiser But conservatives kept asking for it, anyway.
**'Trump on Obama's Birth Certificate: 'Maybe It Says He's a Muslim' - Fox
Nation - 03/30/11 Making themselves look foolish. So,
'what' information, are you talking about? You don't even know. If you don't like the very SAME standards used on yourself that you use
on others.... (i.e. Romney's tax records) they are not very good
values. i.e. A Double Standard.
Romney hopes tithing isn't politicized: Too late; we have this story and all
these posts. It already is!
This comment board started off on the wrong foot by someone who made an
absolutely absurd statement that charitable donations are not tax deductable.
Then you have a bunch of people who take the standard deduction on their taxes
and who never itemize their taxes preaching their own false doctrine about how
society should never take the charitable donation deduction on their taxes when
they itemize.You are kidding me right? Maybe none of us should
deduct our mortgage interest when we itemize our taxes because we are causing
everyone else to pay us back for the loan interest rate and payment that we
signed up for. What a joke.You completely lose credibility when you
declare utterly false statements as fact.
This IMO is a non-issue.How, other than privacy, does it differ from
dropping funds into a collection plate being passed around?The
Cayman Islands account and tax rate MR pays are bigger issues. Though, nothing
to get all hot & bothered about regarding of religious or political
RE: Brother Chuck Schroeder-- Romney had no other alternatives. He's running for
the highest National office. He HAD to disclose all, including his tithing
donations. I commend him for making these tax returns public, and only wish he
did them prior to the SC Primary. I think he waited too long. I hope he can now
break Newts momentum.RE: Pagan-- Your responses make me smile. They
really do. I tried to find 5 other articles to show they make me smile, so I
could copy and paste them into my reply, but couldn't find them. Perhaps next
time. Seriously, thanks for the chuckle!! :o)
BTW- Checking to see if Hunstman released his tax return as well prior to him
dropping out? If so, was any tithe donations listed? Who knows, perhaps that
"tithing thing" is just too tough to define.
tything is suppose to be a sacrafice and IMO it isn't one if you claim it as a
deduction on you tax forms at the end of the year. It's like telling Heavenly
Father, "I'm giving this to you now because I know that at the end of the
year when I file my taxes I will get it back." I for one have
never claimed my paying of tything as a tax deduction and I have been blessed
all the more for it as it is a sacrafice.
@CougarKeith - Oh yes, please do what CougarKeith advises...it will make for an
even shorter career!I live in Utah, most of my friends are members
of your faith. That said, suggesting that anyone who thinks your religion is a
bit off is a propagandist is a bit of a stretch. Your absolutism is what is
wrong with the debate. It's not a debate of whose religion is best or whose god
can beat up the other gods. In fact, Mitt's real problems have nothing to do
with his faith but rather with his character and his here-today, gone-tomorrow
positions. But by all means try to convince us all that yours is the
only right church. I always enjoy a good laugh.
What a desperate attempt to spin something praiseworthy. Giving away your own
income towards a noteworthy cause that you believe in should be commended.
Although some of the LDS charitable donations are used towards operational
expenses, a great deal is used to support one of the largest welfare and
humanitarian aid programs in the world.And I dont believe for one
second Romney decided to donate millions of dollars a year (a good portion of
his life) to charity so he could strengthen his presidential campaigning
efforts. And it is not like he volunteered this information. There are less
expensive things he could have done. It was his republican counterparts, the
media, and many others who demanded and insisted that he release his tax records
ASAP. Ironic though that it is now Gingrich that is coming under
scrutiny for questionable tax records, while the tax records of Romney are being
confirmed as fair and legit.
Yes, they will be politicised.
LDS LiberalYou better check your math before you make false
allegations. In 2 yrs Romney made 41.6 million. He "gave away $7 million
in charitable contributions over the past two years, including at least $4.1
million" to the LDS Church." That is NOT 5.5% as you stated, more like
The irony of this article's title is hilarious. That said. I
sincerely hope Mitt wins the election and think he is clearly the best
candidate. Newt will get killed by Obama if he goes on.
I think that every person that lives in the United States of America should pay
income taxes. Yes - even those on the dole of welfare and food stamps.
Everyone should pay their fair share.
Im convinced that the Lord knows peoples hearts. Not us. And I am pretty sure
that 90%, if not more, of the active LDS who pay tithing would continue to pay
tithing regardless of the tax deduction. By the way, that is pretty much what
Elder Dallin H. Oaks (LDS Apostle) said when he went before congress last year
to support tax deductions for charitable donations. He supported the
tax deduction with many other leaders from various churches enough to address
congress. He felt, and I am paraphrasing, the tax deduction was a significant
incentive to support the principle and role of American society as a people to
give to others. And effort not put the burden of welfare entirely on the
Government. He also noted discontinuing the deduction would mostly effect other
qualified charitable organizations, but not the donations received by the LDS
Church. It has little impact on the decision of an active LDS memeber to pay a
By the way and for example. If you fall in the 25% tax bracket, for every $100
dollars you donate, the Federal Government gives you roughly $25 dollars back.
No way our shining example of efficiency government can spend your $100 better
than you and do it for $25. That is the concept behind the charitable tax
deduction. In fact, the charitable tax deduction is probably one of the only
efficient programs the federal Government has.On a side note, if
Elder Oaks (LDS Apostle) and leaders from other churches accross the country
feel it is OK to deduct your tithing and fast offering donations, than I am
pretty sure the Lord thinks it is OK.
Yes it will be politicized by the so called conservative republicans, but they
will blame it on the democrats.
I've "enjoyed" reading the words of many commentators on here tonight
expressing their sadness that some people will politicize this and it isn't fair
because Mr. Romney is being a true Christian and living his faith and doing a
wonderful thing. All those may be true. However, please note that if you are
or are not voting for Mr. Romney because of his faith or because of his tithing
status, YOU, yes you not everyone else, have politicized this. This article was
not written for the at-large American audience (no pun intended) but for the LDS
community that wanted to be able to say "See! Mitt is an amazing person
because he pays a full tithe!" Also, anyone who speaks out of
one side of their mouth decrying the politicization of Mr. Romney's faith while
using the other side to demean Mr. Huntsman for his honest characterization of
how he practices his faith hardly has any room to talk.
Proud of Mitt and what he stands for
alt134 posted:I have never thought about that possibility until someone a
few posts ago mentioned it.LDS: Consider this. generally speaking,
every $1,000 you contribute to charity, you get about $300 reduction in taxes.
$300 more you can contribute to your favorite charity next year. Your refusing
to take the tax break "takes" $300.00 from the charity of your choice.
Think about that. ;-)
Oh, alt134,I might add. Last year I contributed a good chunk of my
tax return to Japan relief efforts. A return I wouldn't have had if I hadn't
claimed my charitable contributions.
Who Cares what he paid....It is his business not anyone else!
To most LDS, Romney's charitable contributions means something because it shows
he understands what the word commitment means. Something perhaps Gingrich still
needs to understand. Paying 10% tithing is not easy, something those
who have never done it, may not get. So it could be easy for them to dismiss
what it actually entails and how difficult it can be to continue to pay tithing
every year. And don't give me the holier than thou bologna because bills are
bills and unless you are a presidential candidate no one knows (accept your
church leaders and the Lord and OK maybe the IRS too) what you donate to
charity.Also, it was Gingrich and others that planned to use
Romney's tax returns against him which totally backfired. If anything his tax
returns show a generosity that is uncommon. As others have said,
Romney did not volunteer his returns and it was actually his opponents that
screamed and kicked for Romney to release them. So it is funny to say anyone
other than those trying to smear Romney politicized the results of his returns.
@LDSareChristiansA $300 tax deduction does not equate to an
additional $300 tax refund.Also, if you pay tithing on your gross
income, you do not have to pay tithing on your refund. Get with the program. ;)
But then again, that is a personal decision.
The public wanted him to disclose his financials and he agreed. If you disclose
your taxes, everyone will see how much money you earn, pay, donate, investments,
properties, etc, etc. I guess the reason why he didn't do it before is precisely
because of the tithings. As members, we consider tithing a sacred personal
action (I mentioned action and not duty because it's not a duty, we do it freely
and willingly). Whatever I pay for tithing is between me, the Lord and the
current bishop. Bishop only asks if I paid a full tithing. He doesn't ask if I
paid only 10% or more. It looks like Romney pays more and thanks for that and
being an example. His tithings are as valuable and worth to the eyes of the Lord
as the widow's tithings. That's the beauty of the gospel. We don't brag about
it, we are humble and grateful for it.
@CougarKeith;I don't have a problem with him paying tithing. The
problem is that tithing is not charity. Tithing goes to support the CHURCH not
the PEOPLE.@Woodyff;I am saying that Tithing does not go
to the needy. That is "Fast Offerings".Tithing should NOT
be tax deductible; nor should the Missionary Fund.
The idea that charity is only that given to the poor means that the shewbread,
or whatever it was that was for the support of the Levites wasn't (and isn't?)
charity since there is nothing that said that they were poor. Support of a
church was and is charity. This even applies, in my humble opinion, to strictly
Utah probably derives a lot of benefit from everybody's tithing. Foe example,
the LDS Church is probably one of the biggest employers in the state when
counting BYU employees, Deseret Industries etc. The LDS Church also has a lot
of building and construction jobs in the state and other commercial endeavors
including Deseret News! I don't consider tithing a charitable
donation since it doesn't go to help those in need.
The Democrats love to spend other people's money. Interesting that, while Mitt
Romney has paid MILLIONS to charity, Joe Biden donated about $5000 during the
Romney makes way less money in a year than Obama spends with our money for a
vacation. Does BO pay taxes on the money he takes from us? You know, pay a
little more. I wonder who gives more to charities?
Re:A1994We really can't assume because people don't declare
charitable contributions on their tax return that they aren't charitable.
People can give donations to individuals without being able to donate it on a
tax return. If you donate money for someone's cancer treatment, or the
homeless person on the street etc. it isn't tax deductible. Only donations to
5013c organizations are tax deductible.As for Joe.Joe has very
modest wealth compared to his colleagues.Joint income between Biden and
his wife Jill rose from $215,000 to $249,000 between 1998 and 2006. These
numbers reflect the total of Joe Biden's Senate salary, his Widener University
School of Law teaching salary, and Jill Biden's teaching salary.When
Joe was a Senator he commuted on Amtrak between his home in Delaware and D.C.
@ A1994 and others,Newt must be the biggest liberal in the world. He
must be expecting the government to take care of the poor because he certainly
isn't giving his share. Maybe he just doesn't care about the poor, needy,
widows, orphans--no, I think that's liberal blood flowing in his veins.
Some of you have got things mixed up. Fast offerings are collected locally and
are first used to support the local needy of the ward/area where they are
received and mainly covers expenses. But the local funds may not be enough and
so additional funds are provided from Church Headquarters. The needy also
receive food not just money and that food comes from the Bishops Warehouse.
Tithing is used to support operations used to produce the food and many other
massive humanitarian aid efforts. Granted tithing is also used for other things
directly related to administration Church things but clergy are not paid, which
means those funds are not used the way they might be by other denominations and
churches. The donations made to other Christian churches are tax
deductable too. So why would the missionary fund not be a tax deduction or
tithing funds not directly used towards humanitarian aid effort.Many
posters have commented that the LDS Church Presidency along with other churches
across the country agree with the tax deduction available for ALL charitable
donations given to churches. So what makes you the authority on whether or not
tithing should be a tax deduction?
Is it charitable if you are asked to pay it?
@ Winston:You are not asked to pay it -- you are commanded to pay
it, and not by the Church but by the Lord. Big difference, no?
I am offended that members are sitting around talking about this man's
confidential donations. Use the spirit of the law, folks, and mind your own
@WinstonYou have to be kidding.Yes it is charity because
you are not obligated to pay it. It is called free will duh!If a
homeless guy asks you for money is that all of a sudden not charity because he
asked for it?
Ranch Hand states:"Is it really "charity" if it isn't going
to the poor and needy?In my opinion it isn't."I say
"imagine my surprise" (sarcasm off)
Re:ArchiWhat happens with the excess fast offerings? There
are some paid clergy in the LDS church--General Authorities, for example. Churches in the U.S. are not required to publicly disclose their finances, so
mostly we don't know how the LDS church uses it's funds. However, public
disclosure is required in other countries like Canada and Britain. Some other
denominations in the U.S. give a more thorough accounting to parishioners. I remember a time when tithing settlement included a ward budget
assessment. LDS ward members contributed to the costs associated with
maintaining the ward programs and facilities.
John Pack, I didn't know LDS Employment helped everyone, I thought it was only
for members. Thank you for educating me. I also appreciated the comment about
drug testing there. It is good to know that also. I think it's a little
precious, the assumption that poverty=addictive behaviors. I know differently,
and I know what our Savior would think. The hymn, "A Poor, Wayfaring Man of
Grief", a favorite of many, comes to mind. Again, thank you. I will keep it
in mind as we have the service here.
According to a study by Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, only 20% of
money donated to religious organizations is used for helping the needy.I wonder how that compares with other charitable organizations. Re:Mecr To be clear, Romney's tithing is not with as much in the
eyes of the Lord as the widow's mite. The widow gave all that she had, she gave
of her "want." Romney, like the others in the parable, gives a
portion of his immense abundance. I'm not judging Romney, not my place, I'm
merely pointing out the misinterpretation of the Widow's mite.
@Midwest MomOK, so everyone else in the country can look at and
discuss Mitt's confidential donations, but Mormons cannot? I am not
sure who your post was intended for but most of us are trying to stand up for
what we believe. Try it some time.It is an old trick to
point the finger and say someone is not allowed to respond in a discussion
because that would not be Christlike. Quite frankly it is overused by those who
have no interest in being Christlike. Anyways the only perfect mortal to ever
walk the earth was Jesus Christ and we all are far from it. But even He was
willing to stand up for what is true and for example threw merchants out of the
temple when they had no respect for sacredness. So do not act like LDS members
cannot respond to questions or misinformation about what we believe.
If this is going to make headlines for Mitt Romney, I would like to see ALL the
candidates' charitable deductions in print side by side in the newspaper for the
same period of time: Obama, Biden, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and Rand. Let's
just line them up and see who is charitable and gives what to whom and call a
spade a spade. What's the big deal if Mitt Romney tithes 10% plus gives to
charity? I'll bet that most don't give much to charity. Mitt Romney should be
applauded and singled out as a man of principle and character. No other comment
needed.Mitt in paying his taxes in full according to law is more
than Obama's trusted Secy of the Treasury did!
@TruthseekerAs far as I understand excess fast offerings are kept in
a local fund for future needs. Although it is hard to know for sure I think
Archi is mostly right.LDS paid clergy? Not a chance. There are paid
employees like at the church office building etc but even the LDS cannery gets
many volunteers.Church leaders probably have their expenses paid for
trips and so on but none are paid salaries as clergymen. Church leaders are
suppose to have their finances in order before accepting that type of calling
and a lot of them have retirement income.Unless you define a
seminary teacher as clergy your statement about LDS paid clergy is not true.
It's bad enough to be making judgments about other brothers and sisters, even
oneself, in what is given in monetary gifts to the Church. And let me state, I'm
not declaring my vote here. It could be for Donald Duck. In November...but I
digress. We have no right comparing this. Nor do we have a right to compare
monetary gifts by others in various religious groups, or who belong to none,
since different modes of giving apply to other denominations, and other people
give in other ways. And, as someone mentioned, how about gifts to homeless
srangers, to hungry people just because one cares, a day's work to someone who
could use a day's pay, money in an envelope, a kettle, a collection
plate---there are more ways that never get counted. Please, this is not a
contest, and Romney may not care--maybe he does, I don't even know. But the Lord
does, and we should because we post to each other and the readers of this board.
Let's care for that reason and because the next hungry person could be your best
friend's cousin and you won't know that. It is something to consider.
When we pay our small amount of tithing, which isn't even 10% of Romneys 10% he
pays, I think about where all of the tithing donations go. I also think how
great it is, that there are the Romney's, Huntsman's, Beck's and so on in the
church who make a great contribution. There are many lives that are blessed
because of those with wealth who pay a honest tithing. And there are many lives
blessed when we who make much less combine our faith and efforts and pay our
full tithing. The LDS church has done a great deal to help in natural disasters
and to bring temples closer to the people. I respect Romney for being willing
to reveal something that has always been so private and personal, he is not one
who likes to flaunt his stuff.
@CasguyDoes the word "stipend" mean anything to you?General Authorities and Mission Presidents receive living stipends. According
to Merriam-Webster, synonyms for "stipend" include emolument, salary
and wage.Excess fast offerings are swept by wire transfer to Salt
130 Bishop storehouses 2000 canneries hundreds of thousands of acres of welfare
farms and the personel who run it plus a multitude of grain elevaters and bean
packaging warehouses. All of these were paid for in tithing dollars not just
fast offerings. A standard Bishop storehouse has at least one paid employee and
30 volunteer's who are considered welfare missionaries. It is mind boggleing to
see the truckloads of charitable fast offering food dispersed by each storehouse
every week of the year. Go see one of the storehouses and you will be shocked
with the size and scope of each one. The additional volunteer labor and expense
by individuals in all facets of this work is incredible. Thousands of rent and
house payments and electric bills etc are paid monthly by these sacred funds.
I have generally been in a situation where I owe no taxes in the end. In fact I
have even managed to benefit from earned income credits on occasion. Mitt
Romney's tax rate is thus much higher than mine has ever been.
Despite some odd claims, it appears that for 2010 and 2011 Romney paid virtually
a 10% tithe, and any discrepancy seems to have been the result of figuring his
income differently for tithing purposes than for the purposes of tax filing.Romney's charitable fund made additional $875,000 in donations to the
LDS Church that appear to have been given to items other than tithing. I am
still a bit skeptical about the accuracy of many of these early reports. I was
hoping to get an indepth report on Romney's income and expenditures, but have
not lucked out so far.
Only the ones who have no other income including Mission Presidents and it is
very very small. You are splitting hairs aggie as all are volunteering their
time most at considerable personel expense. Excess fast offerings account for
the hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarion at the local,national and
worldwide levil annually. No program in the world compares to it especially by
such a relativly miniscule number of people.
So, John Pack Lambert, you're one of those that Republicans talk about, the 50
million that don't have "skin in the game"?BTWI
looked at Romney's actual 2010 return, which the Washington Post had a link to.
What you are saying makes no sense. The return is pretty straight forward.
Please note to those that itemize their taxes, and quote the following: You can
deduct contributions or gifts you gave to organizations that are religiousNote those two words, gave and religious.that means you can
itemize on your taxes tithing, fast offerings, or anything that is on that
yellow slip. Which includes boy scouts, new temples, etc.
@Don17 "And Gingrich is a Cheap Skate who has little compassion for the
poor or suffering? Check! And Vice President Biden and the President are even
cheaper? Check!"Wrong, check the graphs in the article again.
I am no fan of Pres. Obama, but I am impressed that as a percentage of income,
the Obama's paid more than Mitt Romney. It shouldn't be compared but there it
is.You were right about Gingrich. Biden basically gave nothing and
he goes to Church.
Amazing that no one has asked for Santorum's or Paul's tax return after they
said they didn't plan on making it public.
Re: CasguyAbsolutely General Authorities and Mission Presidents are
paid. They receive a stipend for living expenses every year in addition to
having all their travel paid for. Saying the LDS Church does not have a paid
clergy is an urban legend. By the way, missionaries also receive a living
stipend in addition to having their travel and housing paid for. 10K is not
nearly enough to cover all of those expenses in quite a few areas. Does that
diminish the Church or the veracity of its message? Well, that's one that you
can decide for yourself.For those asking, leftover Fast Offerings in
a ward are first sent to the Stake, where they are re-allocated to wards that
request additional aid. Any leftover funds in the Stake are sent to SLC, where
they are re-allocated to other stakes that request additional aid. It should
also be noted that tithing is not mixed in with fast offerings nor does it pay
for the stipends received by Church leaders. The Church's independent
investments cover those. This has been attested to several times by Church
leaders and the auditors so the members can know their tithing is not
If you think its not tax deductible, it proves you never donate to any cause.
Ok all fast offerings go to Salt Lake City to Church Headquarters. Each
ward/branch has needs and as such the offerings paid for housing, medical,
utlities, and others all come from the funds. When a Branch/Ward exceeds the
amount they take in The Church gives the difference to the Ward/Branch. Also,
as has been mentioned tithing goes to much more than just the building of the
kingdom. Tithing pays for the building upkeep and replaced the budgets for each
ward/branch. This was because the donations in tithing now surpassed what was
necessary for these budgets and thus they no longer were needed. Tithing pays
for each temple, new or additions church or branch building, new stake centers,
institutes, seminaries, manuals and other things needed in the ward/branch.People who get so caught up in how their tithing is used are those who
are not giving freely. It never was your money. The Lord gave us all we have
and he commands that we give only 10% back in return. That is right all you
make or do is not yours and never was. Each ward/branch/stake is audited twice a
Archi asks:"So why would the missionary fund not be a tax
deduction or tithing funds not directly used towards humanitarian aid
effort."---Archi; (1) (the majority of)
Mormons donate to the "Mission Fund" ONLY when they have a
son/daughter on a mission. Once the mission ends, so does the donation. The
money is going to support THEIR child and not the church's missionary program
overall.(2) Taking a tax deduction on Missionary Fund donations
means that Non-Mormons have to help SUBSIDIZE the LDS Missionary program
(because the Mormons end up paying less taxes as a result).Tithing
funds (to ANY religion) should not be called a "charitable" deduction.
If you want to give to Charity, give to a REAL Charity. Churches are not
charities. @floridian; if you are "commanded" to pay it,
then it certainly is NOT charity, is it!@JNA; ;)
I suspect that careful scrutiny of Romney's tax records will show that he took
his charitable donations as a tax deduction as allowed by the code. With taxes,
the guiding principle is that you should do whatever is legally available to
minimize what you must pay. That some of you believe the it's immoral to follow
the tax code in this regard is a surprise to me. I try to take every legal
deduction that I can. If some of you think that this is wrong, I suggest you
work to get the tax law changed. The code needs to be changed anyway to
eliminate the dual rate approach where a Romney is taxed at 15% on investment
income, while a well paid secretary is taxed at 25% because her income comes by
way of salary or wage.
Some have questioned whether Mr Romney is paying a full tithing, as the amount
reported on his taxes does not seem to be 10%. Not really any of our business of
course, as this is between him and God. But I did read that he pays the
remainder of his tithing amount from a family trust- this would not be reported
on his taxes, as the money in an irrevocable trust has already been taxed upon
its rendering, and all funds removed from it are not liable for taxation, as
long as they following the guidelines originally set up for the trust (this is
strictly regulated by the trust's agent, who is not a member or beneficiary). He
is paying a fixed amount from the trust, and the remainder with stocks that he
owns, a common practice that is both legal and ethical. It saves paying a middle
man to liquidate the stock, hence ensuring that no funds are lost in that
Many may be impressed that Mr. Romney pays a full and generous tithing, but I am
actually more impressed that he pays a substantial amount to other charities on
top of the tithing. As has been reported everywhere, other political figures
with similar income do not even come close to such generosity.And
for those who believe that tithing does not include social justice-related
church organizations, you are mistaken. The bishops' warehouses (providing food
to those in need) and the family services organizations do receive funding from
tithing, and our LDS institutions of higher education (BYU) are subsidized by
tithing, as well, providing an affordable education to every student, regardless
of family income. Religious organizations like the LDS church provide many
services that relieve the government of the responsibility to provide for those
in need, and this is why tithing is tax deductible.
Re Pagan: We all understand that you oppose the church's stand against
homosexual behavior and so you criticize it and any other charity that
"discriminates against gays" by not openly endorsing the gay
lifestyle.I have a solution for you (other than just complain what
others are doing). Start your own church. It can cater exclusively to gays. It
can establish a great welfare program that meets the needs exclusively of poor
gay people. It can even teach that heterosexuality is a sin. You can get it
registered as a non-profit organization providing it meets all the same kinds of
requirements that other churches and charities do.Get lots of people
to donate to your church and have them deduct those contributions from their
taxes. Problem solved. Then you wouldn't need to complain about the LDS Church
all the time.RanchHand could also take a similar approach to solving
his criticisms of the church and its tithing funds.
@ Ranch Hand How do you know what the majority of Mormons do? How are you
privy to their donations? We don't deduct the monthly payment for supporting out
sons' missions. Never have. How do you know what others donate or deduct besides
your generous contributions? I didn't realize you had ever been a bishop or ward
clerk. Correct me if I'm wrong.
@1aggieNo not quite. I personally know a General Authority and he
actually still works full-time. He has spoken in conference before and is an
area authority. He does NOT receive one penny from the church above
reimbursement expenses and travel expenses which by the way he hardly ever has
travel reimbursed because he lives in the area he serves in. You can call this
stipend, reimbursement, or paid if you want but he does not get paid an income
above expenses related to his duties in the calling. Why does he do this?
Because he has a testimony that the Lord has called him to serve in this
capacity. Stake Presidencies, Bishoprics and every other calling in the church
is the same way. Much like a ward budget is not used to pay anyone who accepts a
calling an income.
@1aggie cont.That leaves the Prophet and his Apostles and you and I
both know they are not paid. That just about covers it except seminary and
institute teachers where some are paid and some are not depending on if they
teach full-time courses at High Schools or Institutions where teaching
certifications are required. Those that work in the genealogical libraries are
also not paid. Missionaries try to pay their own way, but yes, some receive
donations from fellow ward members and even those funds are used for living
expenses only. So you are reaching on this one. Mission Presidents do have some
expenses reimbursed or paid like a stipend but unlike a standard stipend, like
what a college athlete might receive, they do not POCKET what is not used for
expenses. None of them get fat checks at the end of their service either. So no
it is not an urban myth. There is NO paid clergyman in the LDS Church. Can you
name one calling that I did not mention above where that is not the case?
@KarGirl,I think you misunderstood John. LDS Employment Services do
not give drug tests,(John must know of places which do, stopping folks at front
door) helping all regardless of status in life. You also said: We
have no right comparing this. Nor do we have a right to compare monetary gifts
by others in various religious groups,Me: Mitt didn't want to
release his tax info, because he is modest and didn't want to "flash"
his donation practices to the world. Now that he was force too , it's all up
for discussion. People really should have just left alone.To
others: Tithes are not used to pay the few modest General Authority stipends.
Those funds come from investments, which originated from an endowment from a
wealthy member back in the 1920's. It's grown to were it is footing the City
Creek Mall development, an investment, to contiune/grow the portfolio.
Let me propose a hypothetical.Suppose some wealthy people use their
power and influence to have a special little rule inserted into the Internal
Revenue Code. This special rule (let's call it 'carried interest') allows them
to recharacterize their personal service income as capital gain income and
obtain a major tax advantage over all other service providers. Over the years
their wealth (as a result of this rule) compounds exponentially and they use
their money and influence to lobby like crazy to keep this rule every time it is
challenged. Now suppose a person who benefited greatly from the
misclassification of service income decides to run for office and this little
rule comes to light. Rather than admit he was paying a low rate of tax on
personal service income, he continually deceptively refers to it as 'investment
income'. Of course the only reason for the confusion was caused by his lobbying
efforts to create/maintain the confusion.He says 'I pay what
is legally required' but the real question is whether someone who has the power
to influence the law and does so for his own benefit, then claims he is just
following the law, is acting honorably.
'Pagan - why are you so interested in Mitt Romney providing private information
but excuse Obama from providing his personal information?' - Woodyff | 4:05 p.m.
Jan. 24, 2012You mean...Obama's long form birth
certificate??Pagan - I'm not obsessed about his birth certificate
but I have read many posts here where it appears you are! I have never once
posted anything, anywhere about his birth certificate. He doesn't release his
health records, other presidents have. He doesn't release his transcripts,
other presidents have. He is the most flawed president in history. He has just
broken the law again by not presenting a budget. His state of the union was
more class warfare. You don't even express your own opinion, just
list quotes from the Obama media.
Re:CasguyThe fact that this stipend exists has not been hidden. As
President Hinckley noted in a General Conference:"Merchandising
interests are an outgrowth of the cooperative movement which existed among our
people in pioneer times. The Church has maintained certain real estate holdings,
particularly those contiguous to Temple Square, to help preserve the beauty and
the integrity of the core of the city. All of these commercial properties are
tax-paying entities.I repeat, the combined income from all of these
business interests is relatively small and would not keep the work going for
longer than a very brief period.I should like to add, parenthetically for
your information, that the living allowances given the General Authorities,
which are very modest in comparison with executive compensation in industry and
the professions, come from this business income and not from the tithing of the
people.""living allowances" ie stipendsGame,
Tithing is private between you and God. Your Bishop won't look into your
finances. A full tithe payer can confidently say "yes" if asked if
they paid a full tithe.On the other hand, if you claim a tax
deduction for public funds, as I do, then it is now the governments business
To add to my comment above; the fact that Joe Biden didn't claim deductions for
Church donations although he claims he regularly attends does not mean he didn't
give. Many Catholics pay in cash anonymously.Don't be quick to
I think that the best thing that could happen to Romney is for Gingrich to call
him a commie for giving to the perpetual education fund and to fast offerings.
Please Newt, shoot off your mouth one more time, for all time sakes.
JoeCapitalist2 says;"I have a solution for you ... Start your
own church. It can cater exclusively to gays. "---If we follow your advice and our "church" performs Marriages of
Same-Sex couples, WILL YOU RECOGNIZE OUR RIGHT TO MARRY AS A RELIGIOUS
FREEDOM?I don't care how much money one gives to their church or
other charities. That is their business, but please ONLY call the actual
Charity a Charity. Churches are NOT charities. Period.O'really
says:"We don't deduct the monthly payment for supporting out sons'
missions." ---Oh really? I know hundreds of Mormons who
do deduct it. All of my family and the family of my partner are active Mormons.
Several of our close neighbors (yes, we do actually SOCIALIZE with Mormons -
heaven forbid they might actually socialize with a couple of gays) . All of
them currently deduct or did in the past, the amount they gave to the Missionary
Fund. One of the problems with all of you is that you take anything
critical of Mormon things as "anti".
Re:1aggieI think you are trying to make the way stipend is defined
to imply GAs are paid. Let me give you an example of why it is
inaccurate to say they are paid.A person works for a regular job for
the government. They receive a salary. As part of their job the person goes on a
long business trip. He flies across the country and receives funds for lodging,
food, and air travel expenses. His government work either gives him advance
funds or reimburses him for this travel.Those funds provided for
travel is NOT considered being paid. In fact, the reimbursement is not taxed.
There is a reason for this. That is because it is not considered income as part
of his paid salary.
Re: CasguyYou're statement on your associate who is an area 70 not
receiving a stipend is accurate. Your assertion that he is a General Authority
is not. That explains that difference.
To: atl134 "When it comes to the national debt, there isn't one bit of
difference. A dollar more expense or a dollar less revenue is still a dollar
more to the bill for future generations."Isn't it a bit naive
to believe that if taxes are raised that the government is going to spend it
wisely. It is so much easier to spend so one else's money than your own. The
only way to reduce the deficit is to decrease the amount of people within the
government who think it is fun to spend money. There are two types of people in
America: 1. Those who produce in society. 2. Those who consume. Besides the
basic road repair/services (which is greatly outsourced now anyway) as well as
other civic services, what other value does the government provide? For the most
part the federal government does nothing but waste our tax dollars and spend it
on their frivolous lifestyles.
Regarding tax deductions for church missionaries that have no income...If you sponsor a young man or young woman for the Peace Corps the expense is
tax deductable.If you sponsor your own son or daughter to live in
Italy and study art full time the expense is tax deductable.I see no
@USMNT1aggie is correct. GA's receive stipends to live on. In addition,
their traveling expenses are paid. This is fact. The church makes no attempt to
hide or conceal this, so I don't know why some members are confused about it.
I suggest you do some basic research (on Wiki or wherever) rather than
relying on what you recall somebody said or whatever. You will quickly discover
that we are right.
I get a big kick out of those commentators who say that tithing does not help
the poor.They say that it goes for business and such.I have a
question for them?What about all the employees who have a job and hence a
paycheck and are off of the welfare roles because of all of these jobs that the
business have? One way or the other.. it is helping people!
This whole comment thread has gotten off point. The politicizing of
his tithing has more to do with the Church he is tithing to. In Florida (where
I have a lot of family; some who are Baptist), the LDS church is seen more as
resembling the Church of Scientology than anything else (which has a strong
presence in the Tampa/Clearwater area; and a corresponding negative connotation
despite their celebrity membership). So if Romney is seen tithing
to a church that is "weird" (from the Floridian point of view), then
people are likely to hold their vote against him. Especially in a state with
such a strong Evangelical element. If he doesn't win Florida. It's
Based on the 144 comments already under this article, it looks like the can of
worms is fully open. Now it will go National. Viral. I also noticed on the
airplane this morning that the man to my left reading the New York Times had an
article on Mormon cuisine, including a recipe for Funeral Potatoes. The man on
the right was reading the USA today with an article on the growing acceptance of
the LDS church nationally. Scrutiny is something you bear when you get more of
an audience and certainly the church wants a larger audience.
Thanks Mitt for showing to the world a great example of being a full tithes
payer. Tithes are commitment to God you pay it whether you are sick, poor, rich,
famous, republican or democrat.
re:USMNTSorry, you are wrong. "living allowances"Pres. Hinckley didn't say "travel allowances" Why would Pres.
Hinckley not characterize it as travel expenses if that's what it was? The
Church pays missionaries travel expenses, that is understood. But Pres.
Hinckley specifically said "Living allowance" implying a (modest)
salary to pay for household expenses whether it be rent, food or whatever. The fact is that some/most (who knows?) GAs get/offered a living
allowance, ie. modest salary to pay living, not travel, expenses. I don't have
a problem with that. If my spouse had given up a lucrative profession to work
full-time for the Church I would think it fair to receive some compensation.
What I do have a problem with is that people, such as yourself, seem to be
inaware of that and continue to deny it. It would be accurate to
say that most LDS leaders (ie bishops, stake pres. etc) are not paid. However,
those at the top of the leadership (General Authorities) may (not must) receive
a modest stipend/salary/living allowance. last post
Re: TaxmanThe problem I have is those that talk about a very small
group that receives a stipend and imply that all LDS clergymen are paid
salaries. What is being asked for is a little honesty on how the information
being provided actually relates to the truth. As some have already
stated on this comment board, the church has plenty of other business income and
endowments that are used to pay these modest stipends and do not use tithing
funds for these expenses. That was actually the original point.
re:1aggieI think we are basically saying the same thing. The
difference is that you are getting worked up about it.The important
point is there is a group of GAs that MAY receive a modest living allowance
provided from LDS business income and endowments.Implying that most
LDS clegy are paid a corporate salary from general tithing is what is wrong.
overall Romney shows great character, interesting that so many do not view that
as important in a President...it seems that lately the voters like the edgy
candidate, one that has some mistakes in the past, as compared to one who has
been conistent and steadfast.
@USMNTI'm glad to see you have apparently done some research and are
now backing off of your assertion above that "it is inaccurate to say they
[GA's] are paid". However, your recharacterazation of the
original point being "the church has plenty of other business income and
endowments that are used to pay these modest stipends" is not correct. If
you look carefully above, you will see that the discussion of stipends began
when Archi said "clergy are not paid" and Truthseeker correctly
pointed out that GA's are paid. This cause a stir among some posters who
apparently don't know what goes on in their own religion. For example Casguy
said "LDS paid clergy? Not a chance." You said "I think you are
trying to make the way stipend is defined to imply GAs are paid."Now perhaps some of us have learned something and we can move on to
substanitive topics like perhaps Romney's attempts to call his service income
"capital gain" income just because it gets taxed at the same
preferential rate. I can understand why he wants to keep the gravy train going,
but as a tax professional, I find it deceptive.
Re:The TaxmanAnd you still will not admit there is a difference
between a modest living allowance and a salary. So I understand full well who I
am dealing with.I can't speak for the other posters, but I think
most LDS know their leaders are NOT paid regular salaries, so do not put words
in people's mouths. You can't pound a square block through a round
If you make so little income that you can fill out the short form or the EZ
(means broke) form, then you do not have much to say in this manner.Instead of finding out from pros what can be decuted from you income, you ask
people like yourself who like you lack knowledge and or income.It is
not the fault of the Tax Payer that the Government allows deductions and has
loop holes. The Tax payer did not write the Tax Code the Government did. In part
to encourage certain types of spending such as buying a house. If I
take my Mortage Interest it knocks me down several tax brackets, then the kids,
then uniforms then some other things. So instead of paying or breaking evan, we
get thousands back, which we then use to pay bills and buy things, save, and
Tithe. Right Now Medical Co-Pays are eating me alive so i have to start tracking
those. You can also deduct sales tax. The idea if you can is to pay 0, and the
Government sometimes lets you.Like my sister in law going to the
store with coupons.
I hate to shake your faith, but 1aggie is right and casguy is wrong. It is
extremely naive to think that all general authorities and mission presidents are
independently wealthy and don't take an "income" or a
"stipend" plus travel or church related expenses. These are full-time
callings so I really have no problem with it. In fact I know mission presidents
and general authorities who have received such a stipend, and I know how much,
but I am not going to fan the flames by mentioning it here. Yes it is modest by
today's corporate standards, but it is decent.
Mitt Romney's tax return, which ran to 500 plus pages, teaches us a couple of
things. 1) the tax law is such that his 13.9% tax rate is completely legal.
Don't blame Mitt: blame Congress for concocting the tax law. 2) The rich
can use tax codes and various offshore and Swiss banks to define profits such
they can tithe at 6.74%.
rightascension said, "Don't blame Mitt: blame Congress for concocting the
tax law."Here's a little history. In 2007, Congress tried to
change the rule that lets Mitt pay 13.9%. Mitt came out publicly against the
change and Bain Capital (along with a group of 11 similar firms who call
themsevles "The Private Equity Council") lobbied heavily against the
change. The bill was killed and the plunder continues. So I think
it's appropriate to hold Mitt a little responsible for the 13.9% tax rate he
pays on the $57K he earns each day.
During my career, I have twice lobbied Congress to change a law (which included
travelling to DC, hiring lobbists, and drafting the change we wanted). It amuses me to read some of the above comments like "don't blame Mitt
for his low rate" because I know how the system works. If you have enough
money you can get about any provision you want into the Internal Revenue Code
(and Mitt and his private equity buddies had enough money) and then kill any
attempt to change it.The history is clear. Mitt has actively tried
to influence legislation to benefit himself (his pocketbook) personally. This
disqualifies him from recieving my vote for the most important office in the
world, because based on past experience (and his current behavior) he has no
compunction against dipping his paws in the cookie jar.
@ Ranch Hand Hundreds? Did you interview them all and take a poll?
Darn. I'm late to the game here. When he himself equates his
'charitable giving' with the taxes he paid, in order to make his 'contribution
to society' appear larger than 15%, HE is politicizing his 'tithing', which
also, isn't the same thing as 'charitable giving'. He _has_ to tithe (not
saying he doesn't want to) to be in good standing as a member of the Church.
Christy:You bet he is policizing this by releasing his tax forms. It
is only to satisfy the anti-Romney or the anti-Mormon crowd.It is
just like in the last election when he made the statement referred to as the JFK
speech. It was to satisfy the anti-mormon crowd.Afterall, you do not
see any other politician releasing their tax forms or their "JFK"
speech - right? It is to satisfy the anti-mormon crowd.
Just a note: Their may be other good charities to donate to but the LDS Church
has no paid ministry and what the LDS Church takes in and how they use the funds
are taken very seriously. Unlike most other non profits and charities the
funds given to the LDS Church are actually used for charitable causes and not
wasted or paying salaries to Non profit officers.
It is true that some General Authorities and some Mission Presidents receive a
modest stipend. What isn't being said is that it depends on where these
individuals live and the mission. Mission Presidents are called for three
years, this is not a permanent calling by any means. Temple Presidents are
called for three years as well and are furnished a home within easy walking of
the temple itself. What is this stipend? Basically room and board for living
expenses. It also pays for their travel around the world. Who pays for this?
Members Tithing. However, all stake presidents, bishops, branch presidents and
others are not paid for their service. The General Authorities are generally
members of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency. Very few members of
the Seventy although there are some.This is not a salary but
strickly for living expenses and travel expenses. To say it is a paid clergy at
all is totally wrong. They are not being paid to be members of the Twelve or
the First Presidency. So it is wrong and even misleading to say such.
@Just Another GuyI agree with you but watch out. From reading the
previous comments there are some posters who would love to argue with you
endlessly about why they think a stipend is the same as a regular paid salary.
Let the spin begin right.Especially since stipend payments are not
considered wages and have no Federal withholding tax deducted from them and are
not reported as wages on a W2 form.But it is really a moot point
since tithing is not used to provide the stipends as LDS business income and
other large endowments to the church cover those. And tithe paying
LDS consider their donations the Lord's money anyways.
Bill in Nebraska: A very good explaination of the topic. Its too bad
Mitt Romney has to have his charitable donations attacked. Doing good is bad?
@workerbeePlease cite your authority for your statement "Especially
since stipend payments are not considered wages and have no Federal withholding
tax deducted from them and are not reported as wages on a W2 form."I am a CPA with an Masters in Taxation and I believe cash renumeration
payments made to priests, ministers, etc. in whatever form are generally subject
to federal income tax (and includable on Form W-2 or 1099). The only exclusion
relates to housing (parsonage).
I was somewhat critical of Romney's hesitation in releasing his tax info but
after reading these posts and others, I completely understand. I feel for the
Romneys. I'm sure that it was a sore realization as they debated the
consequenses that would surely come from the disclosure of their taxes,
charitable donations, but particularly their sacred tithing offerings. Protecting the privacy of this matter may have cost him the election. But
there was no other option but to disclose and then hope that it would not be
politicized. Which request has not been honored. In the end its clear that
Romney had nothing to hide, that there was nothing wrong or illegal. We learned
that the Romneys are nonetheless faithful tithe payers and give the full
Biblical tenth of their sizable income. Something that really should be between
them and God.
To intlbizman2: Read my comments above. They are not wages. This stipend is
not a salary. Therefore, it is not subject to W2 wages. They are not being
paid to preach or anything. It is paid by donated funds, so their is nothing
that needs to be reported to the IRS. As I said it is for living expenses and
travel expenses only. A home for some is even provided for them to stay whether
it is an apartment or an actual house. Most General Authorities that are
provided a place to live will be an apartment. The Mission President and the
Temple President are furnished a house. Bought and paid for by the LDS Church.
In fact, if one looks carefully at current aerial views of the KC Temple area,
the single house built currently is the Temple Presidents house. It is nice and
conveinent to the temple. The other homes will resemble this one.Don't worry about taxes as it really is none of yours or mu business. The
Church has sufficient lawyers and CPAs to determine if there are any taxes.
@intlbizman2 Bill in Nebraska is right.Directly from the
IRS: Ministers Audit Technique Guide, publication date April 2009 "A minister is frequently provided a parsonage or is paid a housing
allowance, which is exempt from income tax under IRC § 107."Just for clarification, they may actually still have to report it. My only
point was a stipend is treated differently than a regular paid salary required
to be reported as wages on a W2 form. Fair enough?
It is rediculous to be discussing a persons tithing. Mabe people should look to
where their tithing money is going to. Is it to build churches, help the needy,
or going into the pocket of a minister who lives in a mansion !
I guess I would loop back around and ask why is Tithing tax deductable. Why is
something we should be doing for our faith anyway need a tax deduction.
Wouldn't it be nice if our tax system was equitable enough that things like
deductions for tithing were not needed. Wouldn't it nice if peoples tax burden
was balanced, and deductions were not needed?I think we are all
asking the wrong questions. I know we don't want to loose this deduction. I
use turbotax, I do my own taxes, and I love to see the tax payable number dive
when I enter that deduction and the mortgage one. But it would so much nicer to
know in January what my tax burden will be for the rest of the year, that day,
and not need to plan my finances to take advantages of holes in the the tax
code.We simply need to fix the cause of the problem, not focus on
the results of flawed policy.Just my opinion.... I may be wrong.
@Bill in Neb and Workerbeeintlbizman is correct. A stipend is
considered taxable income and must be reported on a W-2 or 1099. A parsonage
(or housing allowance is tax-free.IRC Sec 61 defines taxable gross
income as all income unless specifically excluded. A parsonage, or housing
allowance, is specifically excluded, but living expenses (even from donations)
are not. If stipends are given to cover living expenses other than housing, they
are taxable.@USMNTIf you look back at my posts you will see
that I never said the word "salary", so it is you who are putting
words in my mouth. That said, in the tax law, there is no difference between a
modest living allowance and a salary (they are both taxable income to the
UtahBlueDevil "Why is something we should be doing for our faith anyway
need a tax deduction."First reason why is the idea that we
should be able to give to the charity organization of our choice and not have
the government make that choice for us. Tax incentives and deductions are made
to move our behavior. If we gave more to taxes the thinking is there would be
less to give to charity. Cut out the middle man, in this case the government.Second reason why is because the government likes to know what you did
with your moneyso do the voters.
I have a mutual fund manager that picks my investments which saves me time and
money.The LDS Church also picks some of my charities. Currently,
they are The American Red Cross, Primary Children's Hospital, The United Way,
and All For Good. There are many more, especially in Muslim Africa, but they
are no longer on the LDS website so I won't name them. The LDS
Church requires lots of volunteers for their charities and only give to frugal
and effective organizations. In the 70's the United Way was not selected due to
their overhead, now they are a partner with the Church.I believe it
is our duty to give responsibly. Giving a large charity contribution to my
Church saves me time and research.
South Carolina maybe upset that Mitt pays tithing to the "Mormon
Church" but I wonder how they will feel when a natural disaster strikes
and it is the "Mormon Church" to the rescue with all the humanitarian
I'm LDS and although technically tithing under our tax code is a charitable
contribution I don't consider it as part of my charitable giving. Tithing
is a commandment and we are required by Heavenly Father to pay 10%. The money I
give in fast offerings, humanitarian assistance or to other charities like the
Red Cross, etc. are what I consider charitable giving. This is what I choose to
give out of love and to follow the example and teachings of Jesus Christ. I know
to others, especially those who are not LDS, 10% can seem like a very generous
contribution but frankly when you are LDS that is the bare minimum the Lord