In Touch April 8, 2011
Posted on April 8, 2011 by under Touché,

The Tax Man Cometh (I hope)

By now I guess most of you have finished your 2010 taxes.  A week from today they are due.  My prayer is that everybody at HRC would get audited.  That sounds like a strange prayer, but give me a moment to explain.  The other day, I spoke with a couple who were being audited again for their charitable contributions, even though the last time they were audited the auditor gave them a letter explaining that they are exceptional givers and the IRS should not bother them again.  In this first audit, the couple prayed they would get an IRS agent who was understanding.  The tax woman turned out to be a pastor and was very appreciative of the commitment they had to the causes of Christ in their lives.  Still it seems the IRS is not convinced that people legally give so much money away, so once again they have been called to give and account for their giving.  I think that is great!  (They are not as excited as I am.)

Tax time is a great time to take stock of Jesus’ statement “where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”  I am able to look at my contributions and see very clearly whether I am reaching the goals that Cathy and I have set out for giving.  I have not been audited yet, and I doubt that the IRS is blown away by people who simply tithe in their charitable giving.  Maybe I need to set new goals.

I received a print out on levels of giving at Hopewell last year.  As I have shared with you in the past, our giving has stayed up even in tough times.  Our giving this year is down from where we were last year.    I am confident we will catch up, especially as we have a chance to look at our taxes.

As I looked at the print out, I thought it might be helpful to see where we stand in ranges of giving at HRC:

Our largest grouping of households, one hundred fifty-one people give under $1000 yearly.

  • Seventy-two, give $1,001-$2,499 a year.  (That would be a tithe on a yearly income of $10,000-$25,000.)
  • Forty-two households give $2,500-$4,999.
  • Thirteen households give $5,000-$7,499.
  • Two give $7500-$9,999.
  • Eight give $10,000-$14,999.
  • Four give $15,000 and 19,999.
  • One household gives $20,000-$24,999.

I don’t know where the family that is being audited lies on the giving scale and that is not important, but when we see how much we use for ourselves and how much we give away, we are able to see the direction of our hearts.  In this season of tax pain I ask you to do a heart check. Let the tax man, or woman, come knocking.

In Christ,   Taylor