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Maaser Questions

I have some Ma’aser questions.
Do I calculate ma’aser on my pre-tax or post-tax income, do any of the $ that my taxes pay for social services count as my tzedakah, are there any expenses I incur that halachah considers toward my ma’aser (e.g., school tuition, shul membership, etc.).?


1   One may deduct  taxes from his from his maaser accounting, [calculate from post taxes].

2   Taxes for social services should not itself be counted as Maaser.

3   Maaser may not be used for school tuition or shul membership.


1   See Pischei Tshuva, Yoreh Deah 249:1 in the name of the Chavos Yair. See also Shevet Halevi 5:133:4.

2   One may not use maaser money for anything that one is obligated to do, See Taz Y:D 249:1. See Maaseh Hatzedakah pg. 94 with regards to taxes for social services.

3   One may not use maaser money for anything that one is obligated to do. Since teaching a child Torah is an obligation upon every father, a father may not use maaser funds to pay for tuition.

Rav Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe YD II:113) writes with regard to girls education, that since nowadays the State makes it compulsory to attend school until a certain age, and since if you do not arrange for a suitable Jewish school the child would have to receive a non-Jewish education, it follows that making arrangements for a Jewish school is always an obligation. This will also apply to older children.

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