Full disclosure. I did not know that tipping your gas bar attendant was even a thing until recently when my husband began pumping gas for a local filling station. The first time he brought home tips, we were like, “Really?”
Once we thought about it, the idea made so much sense. We tip restaurant wait staff who, though they work for minimum wage, can at least do so in the comfort of a heated or air-conditioned building. Why wouldn’t we also tip gas attendants working for the same wage but freezing their hands and faces while they do? Why had we never thought of this before? We wish we could go back in time and tip all the people who’ve pumped our gas over the past forty years. Alas, on a gas attendant’s wages, we can’t afford retroactive tipping. But you can bet we’ll tip going forward. More income to claim on your tax return!
Is yours done yet? Did your charitable receipts reduce what you owe?
Last fall, the Liberal party won another election. Page 4 of their platform promised, among other things, that they would, “…no longer provide charity status to anti-abortion organizations (for example, Crisis Pregnancy Centers) that provide dishonest counseling to women about their rights and about the options available to them at all stages of the pregnancy.”
I can’t think of anyone who would support an organization that provides “dishonest counseling,” can you? I’m happy our local pregnancy support center supplies accurate, scientific information about how a fetus develops in addition to outlining a woman’s legal options. I’m thankful they offer practical, emotional, and spiritual support to each client, whatever choice she makes. I’m grateful they provide a safe place for the hurting and afraid. I’m glad women don’t need to be alone at this vulnerable time.
So if your organization always tells the truth, you need not fear. Right?
I know. That may be the most naïve statement I’ve ever made.
I’m not here to argue which point of view has science on its side or to speculate how government officials might interpret these new rules, should they pass. I’d rather pose different questions. When it comes to charitable giving, how big a factor is your tax receipt? Where did we get the idea that charitable tax receipts are a God-given right? Why do organizations assume their supporters would stop giving if they couldn’t receive that magic receipt?
I suppose some might. But if the main reason you give is for the tax deduction, my friend, your heart is not in the right place. When God instructed us to tithe, to support the work of those “in the trenches,” so to speak, charitable tax receipts did not exist—though the government of the day certainly collected taxes.
What if this turns out to be better for everyone? What if those who believe in the sanctity of human life from conception rise to the challenge? What if more people volunteer? What if the rule forces churches to declare where they stand? If God cares about this issue, is he limited by whether or not you and I receive a tax receipt? If he’s that limited, are you sure he’s a god worth following?
A few things to ponder as we wind up another tax season.
“Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:7-8 (ESV)