Thank You for taking my question.
I have two forms of income.
My salary and any proceeds I get from stocks, bonds and dividends.
Last year I lost money in the market but retained my salary.
This year I still have my salary and BH made back some of the losses. I pay maaser on my salary after taking out my taxes, but am I obligated to pay Maaser on my gains in the market even though its still way below my losses from last year?
You are asking a good question.
The way to calculate your maaser obligation is as follows. When calculating the amount you have to give to maaser for last year, it is by subtracting the losses that you had from the investments from the amount that you earned from your salary, because this is the net amount that you earned last year. The fact that you didn’t do that, means that you gave extra maaser last year. For example, if you made 100k from your salary and lost 15k from the stocks, your income regarding maaser was 85k, and maaser would be 8.5k. If you gave 10k to maaser you overpaid by $1,500. Normally we don’t calculate one year’s losses for the next year, however here, since the maaser owes you 1.5k, you will calculate what you owe to maaser for this year’s gains and salary, and you can take off the amount that maaser owes you from last year.