Tithe on Gross or Net?

Question: Should I give my tithe based on my gross income earned before taxes, or on the net amount after my taxes are deducted from my paycheck?

Answer: Perhaps the best answer is "Whichever amount you want to cheerfully give to the Lord." God is most concerned about our attitude of heart when we give our tithes and offerings to Him: "Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7).

Technically speaking, it seems that the Lord wants us to tithe on the amount that is actually ours. Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Luke 20:25). Taxes are the amount we render to Caesar, or the government. Jesus instructed us to pay our taxes and when we do so, we're doing His will. After that, we give our tithe on the amount that isn't rendered to Caesar.

Let's look at a hypothetical situation. Suppose that you've earned $1,000 and the tax rate is 95%. That means the government gets $950 and you take home $50. If you had to tithe on the gross amount it would be $100, which would exceed your take-home pay of $50. Clearly, you couldn't do that. But you could tithe on your take-home amount, which would be $5. It's reasonable to assume that you should tithe on the net amount after taxes are deducted, and give additional offerings above that amount if you would like to contribute more.

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