Question:

Do I give 10% of income to tzedaka? Is it after Taxes, what about living expenses, baby expenses, etc?
What about small side earning (nothing illegal of course) or accumulated gift cards from people or websites that give you giftcards for doing surveys. Thank you so much. Ashkenazi by the way :-)

 

 

Answer:

 

Regarding how to calculate earnings for maser, we may deduct any money that “didn’t come to us” such as business expenses, because the person only receives the profits of the business after these bills are paid. Examples of this are rent, utilities, advertising, office supplies, traveling expenses etc. (Mortgage payments are not considered expenses, since they are adding to the value of the business, as the business will later own the whole value of the building). However personal expenses that one has, i.e. the grocery bill, or money spent buying shoes, cannot be deducted from the person’s earnings according to most poskim, as this is how the person used the profit that he gained. The babies expenses are considered like personal expenses, unless they were incurred as a result of your business. For example, if your wife works and as a result you have to send the baby to a babysitter, that may be taken off as a business expenses.

 

Taxes may be deducted from ones income, and are considered a if this money never came to the person.

Side earning should be no different than a person’s main job, since both of them are earnings. Regarding gift cards- if it is a gift card for a specific item, then it is as if you got a present of a cetain item, and you don’t have to take off maser from it. However if it is like most gift cards that are to a certain chain store, and are sellable, they are considered like cash, and you should take maser from it.

Sources:

 

Business expenses- Chavis Yaer 224, Igros Moshe Y:D 1-143,

Personal expenses- Bais Din Shel Shlomo Y:D 1-1, Aruch Hashulchan 249-7, Rashbatz 131-2, R’ S. Z. Auerbach in B’orach Tzedakah-32, Shevet Halevi 5-133(4), Shut HoravY. Steif 56-1.

Baby expenses- B’orach tzedakah 12-4.

Taxes- Emes L’Yackov Y:D ftnt 132, Shiurei Shevet Halevi and psak from R’ Eliyachiv zt”l brought in B’orach Tzedakah 2-17.

Gift cards- B’orach Tzedakah 1-13 in the name of Horav N. Karelitz shlit”a.

Tags: calculating maaser taxes

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