Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Bible & Taxes

Capital Gains Taxes
The Capital Gains Tax, which is a tax on profits, actually penalizes a person for success the more profit you make the more you have to pay (i.e., the more profit a person makes the higher tax rate they pay on that profit/windfall from an investment). However, In the Bible, the more profit you make the more you are rewarded. Both the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and the parable of the minas (Luke 19:12-27) conflict with the notion of a tax on capital gains. “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” In other words, the Bible implies that those who do well (invest) with what they have will be given more.

The parable of the landowner and laborers (Matthew 20:1-16) is applicable to the employer/employee relationship and the issue of wages. The landowner hires workers at different times of the day and yet pays each worker the same amount at the end of the day. When the workers hired first complain, the landowner replies, “Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things?” (“things” is translated as “money” in some versions) There is an implication that the landowner had a right to determine the wages his workers received, as well as an implication that the workers could accept or reject the landowner's offer of work. James 5:4 provides a balance in that the Lord hears the cries of the laborers who are cheated out of wages they are due.

Income Taxes
The current income tax structure in the United States mandates a higher tax rate or percentage the more a person makes. This tax system is contradicted by scripture, especially Exodus 30:11-15, which provided a “half a shekel” tax for everyone numbered. Verse 15 states: “The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel.” In addition, the Biblical Tithe is not applied progressively, rather it is applied equally to everyone (“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord. . . .And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.” Leviticus 27:30,32).

Inheritance Taxes
The Bible speaks to the issue of inheritance numerous times. Proverbs 13:22 states “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children” (something that is not likely with the current Estate Tax which can take up to 55% of an estate, leaving 45% to the children; when the children pass it on to the grandchildren, up to 55% of the remaining 45% can be taken, leaving only 27% of the original that would be passed on to the “children's children”). Ezekiel 46:18 states that “the prince shall not take any of the people's inheritance by evicting them from their property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of My people may be scattered from his property.” Other scriptures that deal with inheritance are Proverbs 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD., I Chronicles 28:8 So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever., and Ezra 9:12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.

No comments:

Post a Comment