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Tithing settlement

Tithing settlement is an opportunity for each ward member to meet with the bishop to make sure his or her donations records are correct and to declare to the bishop his or her tithing status. It gives the bishop an opportunity to discuss with families the principle of tithing, encourage a generous fast offering, and discuss other financial and spiritual matters.

The Church produced training lesson Tithing Settlement   covers the responsibilities of bishopric members, clerks, and executive secretaries.

Policy

Tithing settlement is normally held from November 15 through December 31 each year. In a few countries where the tax year ends at a different time, tithing settlement is also held at a different time. The administrative office will tell you when to conduct tithing settlement. Only the bishop or, in his absence, one of his counselors, can conduct tithing settlement, and the counselor must have permission from the stake president to do this.

The bishop should meet with each ward member in a confidential setting, such as the bishop's office. All members of the ward should attend who live within the ward boundaries at year end. The clerk should be available to supply statements and advice but should not attend the tithing settlement meetings with the members.

Each day tithing settlement is held and donations are received, the clerk and a member of the bishopric (or two members of the bishopric) should enter tithing and offerings into the computer, transmit the amounts to the administrative office, and deposit the money in the bank, just as they would do for Sunday donations.

Responsibilities

Several members of the ward leadership have responsibilities for tithing settlement [1].

Bishop

The bishop is responsible to:

  • Oversee tithing settlement and make sure all tasks are accomplished.
  • Meet privately with each individual or family so they can declare their tithing status.
  • Declare a status for members who do not attend tithing settlement.

Bishop's counselors

The bishop’s counselors are responsible to:

  • Record and deposit donations made during tithing settlement
  • Accomplish tasks assigned to them by the bishop.

Ward clerks

The ward clerk and his assistants are responsible to:

Executive secretary

The executive secretary is responsible to:

  • Coordinate tithing settlement appointments and accomplish other tasks he is assigned by the bishop.

Dates

  • At least one week before Tithing Settlement Begins: Clerks distribute Year-To-Date Donation Summaries[2]
  • On or after November 15: Tithing Settlement Begins
  • December 31 or before: Tithing Settlement Ends
  • On or before January 31: Distribute Official Tax Statements to donors (Note: In the US, Offical Tax Statements for the tax year should be delivered to donors before January 31 of the following year.)
  • January 15: Transmit Tithing Declaration Report from MLS
  • January 31: Deliver printed Tithing Declaration Report and Tithing and Offerings Batch Summary Report to the stake president (Note: In the UK these reports are due to the stake president by January 15)

MLS procedures

In MLS, the needed reports are accessed as follows:

  • Donor Statements: Finances > Tithing Settlement > Donor Statements
  • Tithing Declarations: Finances > Tithing Settlement > Enter Tithing Declarations. Once the declarations have been entered, click the Submit button to transmit the tithing declarations to CHQ.
  • Tithing Declaration Report: Finances > Tithing Settlement > Tithing Declaration Report
  • Tithing and Offerings Batch Summary Report: Finances > View/Update Donations. Set the Date Range to Previous Year and click Print
  • Printing mailing labels: To print Mailing Labels for donor statements (either the YTD Donation Summaries or the Official Tax Statements), go to the Donor Statements as directed above, then do File > Print Mailing Labels.

Individual Ordinance Summary review

"At the time of tithing settlement, a clerk or a member of the bishopric could also review the Individual Ordinance Summary with members" [3] to see if all the information that is retained on the record is correct.

Some wards choose to use tithing settlement as an opportunity to help members register for an LDS Account or to update their household or individual photos or contact information visible on the Directory on LDS.org.

Year-end donor problems

Main article: Year-end Donor Problems
Main article: Tithing settlement special cases

Various things can happen during the year to create problems at tithing settlement associated with donor records. These problems must be corrected at year end to ensure that donation records are accurate.

Ward division, boundary change, or discontinuation

Division or boundary change. Ward divisions and boundary changes can affect tithing settlement. If this happens, do the following:

At the time of the ward division or boundary change, the clerk of the former ward should:

  1. Print Tithing Settlement Statements for members whose membership records were transferred out of the ward.
  2. Give the Tithing Settlement statements to the bishop or clerk of the new ward.

The clerk of the new ward should:

  1. Deliver or mail statements received from the former ward to donors. Do not record on these statements tithing and offerings submitted to the new ward.
  2. Print statements on the new ward's computer for tithing and offerings received since the donor has been attending the new ward.

The bishop of the new ward conducts tithing settlement for donors assigned to the new ward.

Discontinued ward. At the time a ward is discontinued, the stake should receive the Tithing and Other Offerings Statements and official tax-valid receipts from the bishop or clerk of the ward being discontinued. The stake president should make sure these statements are distributed to the bishops of the wards where the members are assigned to attend.

Donors should attend tithing settlement in the ward where they live when tithing settlement is held.

Donation correction and resubmitting the report

If changes need to be made to the Tithing Declarations Report in MLS after it has already been submitted or transmitted to headquarters, you may do so. Then resubmit the report by clicking on 'Submit' as instructed above. The resubmitted report will then be transmitted with the next Send/Receive Changes.

NOTE: ANY donation corrections including: donor name or record number changes, category adjustments, or any other adjustments that change batch totals, will affect the Tithing Declaration Report and will require resubmission of the report. If you do not resubmit the report after making changes, your MLS report of donors and donation totals will not accurately match headquarters. Additionally, if you adjust a person's donations, provide them with a new Official Tax Statement (write 'Modified' on it).

Frequently asked questions

Question: How do we handle husband and wife donations on the year-end Tithing Settlement Statement? Do we combine them?

Answer: Before you print the statement, the husband and wife should decide if they want to donate jointly or separately. They can be merged together or remain as separate donors. If they want to donate together, you need to merge both records. Do the following:

  1. Log in to MLS.
  2. On the Finances menu, click More.
  3. On the Donations menu, click Add/Update Donors.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, click Merge Donors. However, when you do so, the donor record you choose as Donor 2 will automatically be changed to Merged.
  5. Click the donor name of Donor 1. Change the name of the donor to husband and wife, such as "John and Jane Oman."

To remove the merge, click on the Status dropdown for donor 2 and change it from Merged to Visible (if you changed the name of Donor 1 to include both names, you'll need to change it back). This merger will keep donor records you choose merged for tithing settlement.


Question: If a ward member lived in the ward for 11 months of 2004, then moved to another ward and the membership records were transferred to the new ward, how can we produce a Tithing Settlement Statement for that prior member?

Answer: The Tithing Settlement Statement can only be printed by the member’s current ward. This is because the Tithing Settlement Statement screen only shows current members of the ward. However, the regular donor statement should show the former member’s donation history in your ward. Do the following:

  1. Log in to MLS.
  2. On the Finances menu, click More.
  3. On the Reports/Reconcile menu, click Donor Statements.
  4. In the Type of Report field, select Year-to-Date Donation Summaries.
  5. Click the check box next to the member’s name on the screen.
  6. Click Print.

If the individual erroneously shows as a member in the Type column on the screen, the member type needs to be changed on the Add/Update Donors screen by clicking on the name and then selecting Not a Member/Miscellaneous.


Question: Are full-time missionaries declared as full-tithe payers?

Answer: Yes.


Question: A member moved from our ward in December, and I now cannot record a tithing status for her. Why?

Answer: To record a member’s tithing status, the unit must still have the member’s record. Because the member’s record was moved, the member’s new ward will record the tithing status. Leave the “declaration status” as “not declared” and make a note in the “notes” field that the member has moved.


Question: I printed a Tithing Settlement Statement for a member and noticed that none of his donations are recorded. What do I need to do?

Answer: If the Tithing Declaration Report or Tithing Settlement Statement shows no donations for a member, but the donor report does show donations, you need to link the donor record to the donation record to get the amounts to appear on the reports.

To do this:

  1. Log in to MLS.
  2. On the Finances menu, click More.
  3. On the Donations menu, click Add/Update Donors.
  4. Click the name of the donor in the window that appears.
  5. To record this person as a member of your unit, click Select to the right of Member of #Unit.
  6. Find the member in the list and click on their name.
  7. Click OK.

If a member no longer lives in the unit, you will not be able to select a record number for the donor, nor will you be able to declare tithing status for the member. The member must declare status in the ward where he or she is now living.


Question: The administrative office notified me that I haven’t submitted my annual Tithing Declarations Report. What should I do?

Answer: You need to verify that all required fields are completed. You should then save and transmit the report by clicking on the Submit button at the bottom and doing a Send/Receive Changes.


Question: We cannot get check numbers to show on the individual's Tithing Settlement Statement. How can we do this?

Answer: There is not currently a way to do this.

See also

For an explanation of each type of tithing declaration, see tithing status.

Resources

One of the online Record-Keeping and Auditing Training courses is devoted to Tithing Settlement  .

See the official notice Dates for Tithing Settlement and Annual Tithing Reports issued 15 October 2009.

References

  1. Summary of online lesson Tithing Settlement
  2. See Dates for Tithing Settlement and Annual Tithing Reports (although the Tithing Settlement   lesson states that Donation Summaries should be distributed one month before tithing settlement, this has been superseded by the annual official letter typically sent in October).
  3. Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 14.4.1
This page was last modified on 19 January 2015, at 20:09.

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