Tithing Settlement Statement vs. Tithing Declaration Report. Definition of "Exempt"

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Tithing Settlement Statement vs. Tithing Declaration Report. Definition of "Exempt"

#1Postby mprusse » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:15 pm

As a new bishop conducting tithing settlement for the first time I've run across a couple of questions on procedures.

When the members arrive for tithing settlement they are provided their copy of the Tithing Settlement Statement showing their donations for the year. At the bottom of this sheet is a section entitled Declaration of Tithing Status where the bishop indicates whether the member was a full, part, non or exempt tithe payer. If a married couple has been grouped in MLS finance, both of their names will show together at the top of the Tithing Settlement Statement but there still is only one set of check boxes at the bottom to declare status for one individual. If both had income, it is certainly possible that each could have a different tithing status. This statement does not allow for this and can be confusing to mark "Full-tithe", for example, if one spouse was and the other was not. I know this can be remedied on the Bishop's Tithing Declaration Report as it lists every single member individually and not couples as does the Tithing Settlement Statement but it is confusing nevertheless. Anyone else notice that and/or have a solution?

The other question has to do with the "Exempt" status. The online Tithing Settlement training indicates: "Exempt members have no income and have not paid tithing, but they declare that they would have paid a full tithe if they had income." This raises the question in my mind again with regards to a couple. For example, the husband may have earned all the income and declares a "Full-tithe" status. But if the wife earns no income, according to this instruction from the training video, she should be declared as "Exempt" if she says she would have paid full if she had income. Anyone understand this differently? As a side note, if this is the case, then the temple recommend question should be changed to read, "Are you a full tithe payer or exempt?" or something of that nature.

Thank you for any help that can be provided.
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#2Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:32 pm

macsense wrote:The other question has to do with the "Exempt" status. The online Tithing Settlement training indicates: "Exempt members have no income and have not paid tithing, but they declare that they would have paid a full tithe if they had income." This raises the question in my mind again with regards to a couple. For example, the husband may have earned all the income and declares a "Full-tithe" status. But if the wife earns no income, according to this instruction from the training video, she should be declared as "Exempt" if she says she would have paid full if she had income. Anyone understand this differently? As a side note, if this is the case, then the temple recommend question should be changed to read, "Are you a full tithe payer or exempt?" or something of that nature.

Thank you for any help that can be provided.


There is additional instruction on tithing status regarding couples. The primary relevant instruction for couples is: Tithing status is normally the same for husband and wife who donate together. It may be different if they donate separately. (Page A-9 of MLS Software Manual)

That same source says under "Exempt-Tithe Payer": All donors who have no income and have not contributed to tithing funds but declare they would have paid a full tithe if they had income. Full-time missionaries are not exempt-tithe payers. They are full-tithe payers. A married donor with no income should be reported the same as the spouse unless the member declares otherwise.

So a wife who earns no income should not declare herself as exempt, unless she chooses to make a separate declaration. I suppose she might make a separate declaration if the husband is not a full-tithe payer, but the wife declares that she would be a full-tithe payer if she had her own income. But note also (from the Tithing Settlement training lesson, slide 21): Only the member can declare that he or she is exempt. The bishop should not make an exempt declaration on behalf of a member.

In the context of the temple recommend questions, I think the meaning of "full-tithe payer" is clear, so I doubt the Church would add words to that question for a quite exceptional situation, but that's just my opinion.
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#3Postby greggo » Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:08 am

Alan_Brown wrote:In the context of the temple recommend questions, I think the meaning of "full-tithe payer" is clear, so I doubt the Church would add words to that question for a quite exceptional situation, but that's just my opinion.


I may be stating the obvious, but I just want to clarify that the issuance of a temple recommend has no connection at all to the tithing declaration during tithing settlement. Whether or not a member is determined to be a full-tithe payer for the purpose of a temple recommend is between the member and the bishop during the recommend interview. For instance, the Church will not throw up a flag if a recommend is issued to a member who was not declared a full-tithe payer in the most recent declaration report. For the purpose of the temple recommend, certainly the bishop has authority to judge a member to be a full-tithe payer if they were faithful in paying a full-tithe only within the time since their last tithing settlement interview.
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#4Postby jbh001 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:08 am

macsense wrote:If a married couple has been grouped in MLS finance, both of their names will show together at the top of the Tithing Settlement Statement but there still is only one set of check boxes at the bottom to declare status for one individual.


Alan_Brown wrote:There is additional instruction on tithing status regarding couples. The primary relevant instruction for couples is: Tithing status is normally the same for husband and wife who donate together. It may be different if they donate separately. (Page A-9 of MLS Software Manual)


This answers why there is only one set of checkboxes at the bottom of the form.

When I went through the online training, I came away with the understanding that the "Tithing Settlement Statement" is only for the member. That is, the report is printed out and given to the member for tihing settlement. During tithing settlement, the member hands the report to the bishop who then marks it up as appropriate and then hands it back to the member. The bishop does not retain this report nor a copy of it. Instead the bishop makes notes on his copy of the "Bishop's Tithing Declaration Report" as it lists every single member individually. At the end of tithing settlement the bishop's marked up copy of the Bishop's Tithing Declaration Report is used to enter information into MLS.

This process vastly reduced the amount of paper were were printing and storing as a result of tithing settlement. Tithing settlement statements are now printed "on-demand" for those with appointments with the bishop instead of en masse for every ward member. The bishop only has one report he needs to keep track of. As a result it is much simpler than the previous tradition.
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#5Postby mkmurray » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:01 am

jbh001 wrote:This process vastly reduced the amount of paper were were printing and storing as a result of tithing settlement. Tithing settlement statements are now printed "on-demand" for those with appointments with the bishop instead of en masse for every ward member. The bishop only has one report he needs to keep track of. As a result it is much simpler than the previous tradition.

If I understand you correctly, you are only talking about this "on-demand" printing for the actual Tithing Settlement appointments. Just to clarify for anyone else reading this thread, it is standard practice each year that the Church asks us to deliver Year-to-Date Donor statements to each donor at least a week in advance of when Tithing Settlement appointments start. See this post for the quote from the letter from the First Presidency:

http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?p=19955#post19955
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