If a person gets a windfall and therefore owes a large sum of money for maaser (or chomesh), can they set up an IRS recognized Charitable Foundation, deposit all of the maaser obligation into the foundation, but not actually distribute the tzedaka from the Foundation all at once, but rather the Foundation will distribute the funds over the course of a few or many years. Would this deposit of funds into the Foundation count as having paid the maaser obligation in a timely manner?

The IRS recognizes a Chartable Foundation as a charity, and allows the depositor to take the charitable deduction in the year that the deposit into the foundation was made, even though the charitable funds will not be distributed during that tax year.

Answer:

The Noda Beyehuda [Y:D Tenyana 198] brought in Pischei Tshuva 259:1 rules that one must make a maaser accountng at least once a year. Rav Sheinberg z”l ruled that this means the money must also be distributed within this time frame.

Shulchan Aruch 257:3, seems to indicate otherwise, that the money may be separated and distributed over time. Perhaps this is sufficient for Tzedaka but is not a fulfillment of maaser ksafim.

Ideally one should distribute within the year, if this is difficult and the money will be better distributed over time, one may be lenient.

 

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