If you’re like me then you have no doubt run into problems with remembering to pay your tithing when money comes in. It’s not that I don’t like paying tithing, or that I’m being grudging about it, I’m just not used to having to write checks. Tithing is pretty much the only check I write so I don’t carry around a checkbook. Plus, since Eric and I have been married at least one of us has had a variable paycheck so each month if we *do* remember the checkbook we still have to figure out how much we owe. If we’ve left paystubs at home or forgotten when we paid last sometimes the math is too complex to figure out in sacrament meeting, and then another week goes by with our tithing unpaid. Not good.
So, I decided to do some research and find out if there’s a way for me to pay my tithing online. I figure everything else gets paid online, why not tithing? It would make the difference between our tithing getting paid immediately when we receive income or when the stars aligned so that we knew how much we owed and had a pen, checkbook and tithing slip in sacrament meeting. The Church is fairly technically savvy so this didn’t seem like too much of a stretch that I would be the only person looking for this.
Lo, and behold! There is a way to pay your tithing electronically! If your bank supports a bill pay option you can set up your bill pay to send tithing payments to the church. I found this article that gave really good instructions. The links in the article were outdated but I was able to find the form that he mentions here and the electronic donations page here (although the form is really all you need). I recommend reading through his whole article for the complete instructions. He even gives good tips to get all the paperwork electronically if you are paper averse (like Eric and I are :P). Also, if you’re interested there is some interesting discussion on the subject on the LDS Tech forums (apparently elsewhere in the world tithing is *only* accepted electronically).
There are a couple important things to note about paying your tithing online
- Your tithing will not show up on your end of the year report in your ward when you go in for tithing settlement, but you will receive a year end report from the church of what you have donated.
- Your fast offerings will not go into your ward’s fast offering account but instead into the general church fast offering fund. If you want it to go into your ward’s specific fast offering account you’ll need to still write a physical check.
- Similarly you cannot contribute to the ward’s mission fund or to a specific missionary’s fund via online bill pay – you’ll have to do that manually as well. However, you can make donations to the general missionary fund.
The one thing you won’t find in the article is how to set up bill pay with your individual bank. You’ll need to log in to your bank’s website and determine if they support this functionality and find documentation on how to use it.
- If you bank with USAA – we do and we LOVE them – they support free bill pay if you have a checking account. You can find their instructions on how to set up bill pay here.
- If you bank with Deseret First Credit Union (which my family does, which is the only reason I’m including it here 😛 ), they also support bill pay for free *if* you use it at least once a month. I didn’t realize there was that caveat when I first signed up for it, and since I didn’t have any bills that I needed to pay online… I got charged $3ish each month that I had it. But if you’re using it to at least pay tithing, that shouldn’t be an issue. You can find instructions for Deseret First here.
- If anyone finds instructions for setting up bill pay with other financial institutions please feel free to leave a link to them in the comments!
I hope someone else finds this information as useful as I did! Hopefully it will be even easier than it is now in the future, but the overall process wasn’t too bad, and I’m so excited to not worry anymore about whether we’re current in paying our tithing.
Also, another big thanks to Amber Fife for allowing me to use her picture at the top of this post. She posted it on Facebook and I thought it was an inspired picture. Contact her if you are interested in a larger format or prints!