Teshuvah, tefillah and tzedakah, commonly translated as repentance, prayer and charity, are central concepts during the month of Elul and an integral part of the davening of the High Holy Days (Yamim Hanoraim).
Mekimi is a non-profit organization helping struggling families and individuals in Israel. We work with the community to help rescue individuals and couples who are often working, serving in the Army, and bringing up large families.
We believe in every family’s ability to independently manage its finances in an efficient and responsible manner. We view self-responsibility as a primary value and put special emphasis on the family’s hands-on involvement in the process of financial recovery. We therefore place the responsibility for budgeting, setting priorities, and avoiding overspending back onto the family itself. We provide the family with various tools and strategies to foster real change. Families receive the advice totally free of charge!
Unlike other organizations, Mekimi’s staff is made up of skilled professionals who provide a comprehensive solution to any monetary problem, no matter how complex, addressing the issue’s financial, legal and emotional facets. By getting to the root of their problems, we can help them sleep better at night.
As mentioned above, tzdaka (charity) plays an important part in our preparation for the Day of Judgement. As we say in davening on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that Tshuva, Tefilla and Tzdaka can avert the evil decree. What is the connection between Tzdaka and Mas Hachnasa (Income Tax)? Perhaps there are those who think that Income tax is an evil decree. Rather I would like to share with you a tip how we can utilize the mitzvah of Tzdaka and at the same time gain a tax exemption.
As we reach the end of 5779, we should be starting to "close the books" and taking a look at the "figures". Was the past year "profitable" or, are we bracing ourselves for "losses"? I am obviously referring to the spiritual soul – searching and "checks and balances" which every Jew does at this time of the year during the month of Elul approaching Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. As do the accountants and auditors when they check the books and do tax assumption and the results show large profits, they use the laws to increase expenses or delay income and thereby decrease the tax liability to Income Tax.
When it comes to "closing our books" and presenting them to the Ultimate Income Tax Collector, the Almighty – we want to show major "profits". Our Rabbis have taught us that in the book of Mishlei (Proverbs 10:2 and 11:4) “tzedakah saves from death” (tzedakah tatzil mimavet.) Obviously the literal meaning is not that one who gives enormous amounts of charity will not meet with death. Rather this is the last chance to do an "end of the year clearance sale" and thereby hopefully increase our "profits" (mitzvot) against our liabilities (sins). And the question is how? One of the simplest and easiest means is … To Give Tzdaka – Charity!!!
How does it work?!
In Israel (and other countries), charity to recognized organizations provides a tax benefit of 35% of the donation. There are a number of requirements in order to receive this tax break.
a. The donation must be made by Israeli or foreign citizens to a national fund or a public institution (charity) approved by the Finance Ministry and the Knesset Finance Committee. Make sure that on the receipt appears that the organization has the approval "according to section 46 of the Income Tax ordinance" - "מוכר כתרומה לפי סעיף 46 לפקודת מס הכנסה".
b. Minimum of 190 shekels and a maximum of 9,322 million NIS or 30% of taxable income – the lower of the two. If the donation is above that amount, the difference may be carried over for a period of 3 years.
c. Companies receive a tax credit according to the company tax rate -23%
d. Keep the receipt.
How to apply for the tax exemption?
Through the employer if he is connected to the procedure which was approved by the Tax Authority.
Before the 31 December of each year, take all the receipts you accumulated during the year to the Tax authority and get a permit which you give to the employer and he will give you the tax exemption through your salary.
During April /May (2020) after the end of the year (2019) you will receive the 106 Form from your employer (all the information about your salary during the previous year - Taxes, Bituach Leumi and Pension).
With this form you must fill out a tax return – as a salaried worker you are not obligated to do so, but in order to receive the tax refund you will have to file a tax return. It is not too complicated but you might want to get assistance from an accountant / tax consultant. There are companies who deal with tax refunds for salaried workers and take a fee of between 17-25% of the refund. No refund – no payment.
From the above we see that giving tzdaka is not only "giving", but also "receiving". As the word "נתן - NATAN" , to give - can be read forwards and backwards, it is now obvious why charity can avert the evil decree and tip the scales in our favour when we stand before the Almighty on Rosh Hashana.
We at Mekimi wish all of Am Yisrael, Shana Tova where we shall be inscribed in the Book of LIFE and may the coming year be a year where we may be those who are able to be on the "giving" side and that 5780 -תש"פ will be a year of "PLUS!!"
If you need advice or would like to donate to Mekimi, you can call *2835 or visit our website (in English): www.mekimi.org.il Gedaliah Gower Senior Payroll Accountant / Senior Bookkeeper
Professional Financial Advisor – Mekimi – The gateway to financial stability