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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Pay Your Tithing Directly » Pay Your Tithing Directly

Pay Your Tithing Directly

Rusty - February 28, 2007

With all this talk about tithing, it reminded me of the fact that you can send your tithing directly to the Church without having to go through the bishopric. My wife and I have it set up with the rest of our bills on our bank’s website. Each month you just punch in the number and the bank sends the check.

The address is:

Corporation of the President
50 E. North Temple St.
15th Fl. Rm. 1521
Salt Lake City, UT, 84150

As someone who deals with tithing every week I love that this is an option both because it is less work for us and also because I prefer ignorance. The downside is that you have to contact the Church to get your report for taxes.

Note this is only for tithing and not for fast offerings or any other donations. Those still need to go through the ward.

34 Comments »

  1. Wow, seriously? Thanks for the info! I pay all my bills online and tithing is the only thing I still write checks for (besides rent). I’ve been wishing there was a way to automate it.

    Comment by Susan M — February 28, 2007 @ 12:37 pm

  2. I thought this option was reserved for those members who make $250K+?

    Comment by Tim — February 28, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  3. Tim,
    Where did you hear that? I certainly don’t make that much money. Last year was the first year I did this and it was one lump sum at the end of the year (rather than regular weekly checks). My friend was the one that told me about this and there’s a chance he makes that much money but I doubt it.

    Comment by Rusty — February 28, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

  4. I was just kidding, Rusty. I would say that, as you’ve probably witnessed, most wealthy members pay their tithing directly to prevent people from knowing how much they make.

    Comment by Tim — February 28, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

  5. Actually, if you have a diverse portfolio, you should invest the money each month, and then contribute the appreciated securities for your tithing. The church gets the full value of the securities when donated, and you can deduct that full amount on your tax return, but you don’t have to pay tax on the gain in the value of the securities.

    This rule doesn’t apply if you transfer the securities to pay a debt–in that case you’d have to pay tax on the increase–so if you view tithing as a debt, you can feel good for two reasons:

    1. you paid your tithing and
    2. you stuck it to the man.

    It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 28, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

  6. I will say that I never thought about paying tithing via the internet and that would probably encourage many more members to do so–including myself.

    Comment by Tim — February 28, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

  7. There is something satisfying, though, about getting up in front of everyone right before sacrament meeting starts and handing my green envelope to the Bishop for all to witness.

    Comment by Tim — February 28, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

  8. You have to contact them for your taxes? The church has always just mailed us a receipt of what we paid for the year. At least it has for the last two years.

    Or maybe we did something different. We just used billpay to send in our tithing and other donations while we lived overseas, and I’m pretty sure we’re still set up to do that. We’ve been paying through our ward though for the last few months.

    Comment by Amira — February 28, 2007 @ 1:46 pm

  9. Along with Amira’s comment, I’m curious to know how easy it is to get the statement from the church. Do they send it January 31, like other statements? How do you contact the Church to get it — is there a phone number or something? Do you include your membership # or something else on the check so they can account for it correctly? Can someone that has done this please pipe up?

    Comment by Greg — February 28, 2007 @ 2:09 pm

  10. Rusty, you’re costing the church extra money. Think of all the people that have to be employed and paid by the church to handle your paid direct tithing. At least two guys in room 1521 counting, entering and finally making the deposit.

    Then you’ve got the extra expense of making and mailing you your special receipt.

    All the rest of us let unpaid “volunteers” like Bishopric members and ward clerks do all that work for free.

    Just think of the enormous expense you are adding to the church by telling everyone about direct payment. Now thousands more will be doing it, which means even more men for room 1521, pretty soon they’ll have to take over the entire 15th floor….sometimes you just don’t calculate the consequences of your own actions! :)

    Comment by Don Clifton — February 28, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

  11. If you have appreciated stock pay tithing with that. Don’t send them a check. Send them the stock. It works out great for everybody. Why? Well, the Church gets the stock and you get to deduct full market value of that stock. Yet you don’t get taxed on the capital gains. Everybody wins, except the Federal Government, which means that everybody wins.

    Of course this assumes that you have stock that has gone up. Do not do this with stock that has gone down.

    Of course the only stock I’ve held recently that has gone up is Apple. So now guess who has all my Apple stock?

    Comment by a random John — February 28, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  12. 1. you paid your tithing and
    2. you stuck it to the man.

    It doesn’t get much better than that.

    Amen!

    Comment by Peter — February 28, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

  13. Some employers will also set up a direct deposit-type deduction for your tithing. They will automatically send a check for 10% of your income to the church.

    Comment by Capt. Obsidian — February 28, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  14. I call bs on that one, cap’n.

    Comment by Greg — February 28, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

  15. btw, you can email inquiries about how to donate stock to DonationsInKind@ldschurch.org

    They are very helpful. And now they’ll probably get more spam.

    Comment by a random John — February 28, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

  16. This is the system I always used. It works out especially well when you have a busybody Bishop who gives you the stink-eye when reviewing your contribution (now, Brother Phouchg, would you say this is a full tithe?).

    Comment by Phouchg — February 28, 2007 @ 9:32 pm

  17. Here in Finland, there are no paper checks. All transfers between accounts are done electronically. So we pay our tithing and FO directly to the ward’s bank account, and the financial clerk just checks the balance and makes the transfers to other accounts. Very clean.

    We have about five tithing envelopes a month. Mostly, missionaries paying FO. It takes a lot of the heat out of being in the bishopric.

    Comment by Norbert — February 28, 2007 @ 10:40 pm

  18. You don’t have to pay it to church headquarters to pay directly from your account, you can send it to the bishop directly from your bank account just by setting it up through online banking. The address is on the tithing envelopes.

    Comment by MCQ — February 28, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  19. MCQ (18), that’s what I do. I have an online check set up recurring every two weeks when I get paid, to pay my tithing, fast offerings, PEF, and humanitarian aid donations. The check memo field holds the split-out values, and it goes to my Bishop’s house.

    Comment by Tatiana — March 1, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  20. What’s lost in this whole discussion is whether people feel less “connected” with their tithes and offerings. After all, back in the day giving 2 chickens out of your 20 was a more tangible offering that you felt the effects of. The act of clicking a button on your computer screen doesn’t seem to measure up. But surely God accepts your offering regardless but I wonder…..

    As the physical act of paying tithes becomes easier, does it make it easier for us to live the principle. Sure, Rusty and Co. might have no problem with the law of tithing but what about those who do? Does this make it easier for them?…I wonder…..

    Comment by cj douglass — March 1, 2007 @ 8:29 am

  21. Greg (#14)

    I have seen it first-hand. Every month our ward gets a check from a certain member’s employer for his tithing that month. The check is from their payroll dept., made out to our ward in the member’s name. I imagine it is quite similar (functionally) to having a portion of your wages automatically deposited into a savings account.

    Comment by Capt. Obsidian — March 1, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  22. I hear that at least one Christian pastor has installed an ATM kiosk in the foyer of his church building. People can use their debit cards to contribute with almost no-hassle.

    Hmmm…

    By the way, while tithing may be off to some impersonal location for unknown purposes, fast offerings, by contrast, stay with your bishop and are commonly used to fund financially struggling prospective missionaries and provide financial assistance to ward members who have fallen on hard times.

    Comment by Seth R. — March 1, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  23. But surely God accepts your offering regardless but I wonder…. if the value of the experience changes. I’m certian that God blesses us according to our obedience to the law but in our effort to become changed beings, does the diminished experience prevent us from yielding the maximum amount of change.? I’m not suggesting that Mark B. deliver 1 of the 10 tomatoes he raises in his garden this summer but I wonder…

    Comment by cj douglass — March 1, 2007 @ 11:39 am

  24. paypal?

    Comment by SB — March 1, 2007 @ 12:00 pm

  25. CJ,
    It’s an interesting question. But in this digital society money is primarily psychological anyway, right? I mean, when I see online that I’ve only got $42 left in my bank account I still feel like crap, regardless of the fact that it’s only a number on a screen and not cash (or chicken) in hand. So when I see that I’m pushing buttons that subtract my bank account and I don’t have any nice furniture/books/clothes/cars/etc. to account for that subtraction, it’s the same psychology as if I were to give away a chicken and not get anything in return. But it is an interesting question.

    Comment by Rusty — March 1, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

  26. i’m shocked, SHOCKED, i say, that i didn’t know this. i’ve always wished that i could pay tithing online because it would be so much easier. i don’t think it diminshes at all from the experience and there was a time that i would have been more caught up on paying my tithing if i could have clicked the mouse in the wee hours instead of having timely organizational skills to actually hand over or send in a check.

    Comment by makakona — March 1, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  27. I think it’s the same experience whether it’s online or not. I do it because God wants me to, and I never seem not to have enough. When I started tithing, I didn’t think the “magical” stories about tithing were true, or should be true. In fact, I thought they were downright dishonest. If I am doing it for me, then what’s the point?

    But it’s paradoxical, like keeping all the commandments! When you do things for others, or to be a good citizen of the kingdom, or just to be obedient, it always ends up coming back and paying you manyfold. So now matter how hard you try to be unselfish and noble and good and all that, you still end up making out like the rich kid at Christmas. It’s really not fair!

    Comment by Tatiana — March 3, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  28. I think when Christ told the rich young ruler to give away all he had to the poor, and come follow him, he was telling the truth too. I think if we did that, we’d be given everything, that every instant of life would become like a precious jewel to us, and that we would then own the whole universe, which is beyond price. I think the “magical tithing” principle still holds true for giving everything we have away to the poor, and following him. We would become monsterously wealthy that way.

    So I wonder why I don’t?

    Comment by Tatiana — March 3, 2007 @ 7:43 am

  29. So tithing settlement time is upon us, and our ward clerk has no records of my tithing payments because I paid them directly. Who the heck do I contact at the COB to get my tithing statement for the year?

    Comment by anon — December 4, 2007 @ 10:26 am

  30. anon,
    If I remember correctly I don’t think you get a statement. Or at least my statement from the ward just has my fast offerings on it. And I tell my bishop that I’ve paid a full tithe. He believes me.

    Comment by Rusty — December 4, 2007 @ 8:06 pm

  31. And at tax time?

    Comment by anon — December 5, 2007 @ 8:48 am

  32. anon,

    There are some phone numbers here where you should be able to get your questions answered.

    Comment by Bill — December 5, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

  33. I just called the general COB number. They forwarded me to someone who emailed me my statement within 20 minutes. Very cool.

    Comment by anon — December 5, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  34. I am trying to set this up on my online bill-pay and I was wondering what I should write in the memo line. Also, will they just see my name and address and match it up with my membership number? If not, how will they keep up with it for the purpose of sending me a receipt? It seems like they’d need some other info from me.

    Comment by Allison — December 31, 2007 @ 8:28 am

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