(1) Let's say your charitable contribution of $100 resulted in a deduction of $1 from your tax bill. Would your maaser contribution from that hundred be counted as $99 total or $100 total?

(2) Let's say your maaser above only counted as $99--but you owe $100 in maaser. How do you pay that, in light of the fact that the more maaser you pay, the lower your tax bill gets, and the higher your maaserable income? (see here)

(I'm more interested in whether this is addressed in halacha than whether it is mathematically or practically feasible, since I'm pretty sure it is both of those.)

Even more fun maaser and tax math here!

Related: Is maaser calculated pre-tax or after-tax?

Does Ma'aser count if you have an ulterior motive?

Maaser Deductibles

  • 1
    the answer to (2) is just a math problem. In your example with tax deduction of 1% of charitable donation, your equation is x -.01x = 100 ==> .99x = 100 ==> x = 101.0101010101... so you should pay $101.01 (or 101.02 if you want to cover that additional .00010101010101....) Nov 29, 2015 at 3:09
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/67873/1516
    – SAH
    Mar 6, 2018 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


You give whatever maaser you think is appropriate and God will adjust your income accordingly.

  • 1
    Then why can't you give more than 20%?
    – Double AA
    Mar 15, 2015 at 4:06
  • Maaser has to be some form of 10%. My answer concerns how you get to 10%. Any more is tzedaka, not maaser (the maaser described is also tzedaka but is reminiscent of the original maaser decreed on produce). Tzedaka is optional (except on Purim) but maaser is not. Tzedaka, however is capped at 20% because it is financially dangerous to do so and God does not want people to give beyond their means. Mar 15, 2015 at 4:17
  • 2
    Ah. And how do you know that if you choose the wrong method of calculating 10% that God will help you correct for it? Maybe He'll just think you're an idiot for not figuring out the right way first, and not compensate you.
    – Double AA
    Mar 15, 2015 at 4:18
  • who is putting a gun to your head and making you give more? Mar 15, 2015 at 5:38

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