I must have had a surprised look on my face because she quickly added, "We just got our tax return."
I pinched my lips together. Mike and I had done several financial counseling sessions with Sue, and her husband, Bob. They were constantly spending more money than they had, landing in debt to creditors and family members. Each year, I watched their tax return disappear in days, always going toward things I would consider frivolous.
But, how people spend their tax return is their own business, isn't it?
Maybe not. How we spend our money is always God's business. So how can we honor the Lord by how we spend our tax return?
How should I spend my tax return?
Your tax return should be spend as prayerfully and carefuly as you spend the rest of your income. This is money you have paid the government, or your employor has paid the government for you, not a windfall of free money. As with all tthings financial, your tax return belongs to the Lord.
Should I tithe from my tax return?
That depends on whether you tithe from your gross or net income. Your gross income is the money you make before the U.S. government takes its cut through taxes. Net income is your income after taxes are paid. If you are self-employed, you are more likely to tithe from your gross income before you pay your taxes. The return you get has already been tithed from, but you might give an offering.
If you work for a company, you probably don't even see your gross income because the company pays the taxes you owe to the government before they write your paycheck. If you tithe from your net income, then you should tithe from your tax refund.
Should I pay off debt with my tax return?
This is a great way to spend your tax return. If you don't need to use this money to pay bills, you should pay off debt with your tax refund. You can throw a large chunk of money at debt, making a huge difference toward the process of becoming debt-free. If you are paying a mortgage on your home, consider putting some or all of your tax refund toward paying off you house. For many Christians, a mortgage is their only debt. What a great way to work toward being completely debt-free.
If your refund check is large enough, you may be able to elimiate an entire debt such as an old medical bill or school loan.