Question:

I work for a yeshiva that issues payroll checks on a very untimely basis. Although I knew that paychecks may not be issued on the exact date, the yeshiva is several months behind. Due to that fact, I am often charged overdraft fees from my bank to cover the charges that go through my bank account. Sometimes the fees come to approx. 1/3 of my net paycheck. My husband and I both feel that if I received my wages on time, I would not have these fees, as we feel between both our salaries, although tight, we would be able to cover our expenses. My question is….since the yeshiva is in essence borrowing my money, are these fees maaser deductible? If not, what is your suggestion? Can anything be done so that I am not losing this money for nothing?

Answer:

You can deduct the fees that were caused to you from the late payment of the yeshiva as losses to your net income. Meaning that if your wages are 40,000 a year, and the overdraft because of the late payment is 5,000, then it is as if you earned only 35,000, and 3,500 would be maaser. However you can’t say that the yeshiva l’halacha owes you the for the loss, since it was only a grama (causative), therefore you can’t consider the 5,000 as a donation to the yeshiva.

Maybe there is a way to borrow money against your paycheck so you will have the money in the bank in a timely manner, and you won’t have such a tremendous loss.

A gmar chasima tova, and may H0shem send you a year full of bracha and parnasa.

Sources:

R’ Y. Feinhandler, author of B’orach Tzedakah

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