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Ask Dave

Tithe On Gross Or Net?

Rick wants to know if you should tithe on the gross or the net. Dave explains how he does it.

QUESTION: Rick in Spokane wants to know if you should tithe on the gross or the net. Dave explains how he does it.

ANSWER: I own the business, so what the business makes as profit is what I make as profit. I tithe on my taxable income, which are profits from my business, profits from my investments, profits from book royalties, anywhere I get income from, I tithe on that income. But I don’t write any checks out of the business to tithe because I own the business, and whatever the business profit is is coming home to me anyway. I tithe on the business profit after I take it home. I tithe before I take taxes out. There’s a lot of discussion and a lot of teaching both ways on that. I’m not a big doctrinal hairsplitter with people. I just don’t think you can out-give God.

Some businesses don’t even have a 10% margin. Whatever the net profit of the business is, that’s what I’ve got to pay taxes on, and that’s what I tithe on. The pre-eminent Scripture on tithing is in Deuteronomy. It says to tithe on your net increase. If you think about an agrarian culture where that was written, if you had a flock of sheep and one was killed by a wolf but you had 11 new lambs, then you had an increase of 10. You would tithe on that. You can make a really good case for it biblically either way. I’m not going to argue about it. It doesn’t matter. Just give and be a giver. It’s about changing your spirit anyway.