Author Topic: MA'ASER ON POINTS???  (Read 16769 times)

Offline aycee

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MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« on: June 22, 2011, 05:54:46 PM »
Jews are required to tithe all of their income for charity (ma’aser); as such I am curious to know if anybody gives ma’aser on their points?

If you do, how do you do you value a point? Do you base it on the price the point program charges for their points, the price a point broker would pay for the points, the price that you value the points?

It would seem to me that points are a form of income and that a person must give 10% to charity. The same way one is required to pay tax if they won 100,000 points from a point program they should separate ma’aser as well. For example, if you get 100,000 Amex Stwd points they would carry a market value of approximately $1,800, so you would have to separate $180 for ma’aser.

We have Mirrers, Briskers, Chabadskers, MOs, Satmerers and everything inbetween roaming these forums  – so let’s hear those svaros! ;D

Offline Dan

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 05:56:35 PM »
If you sell them they are income and subject to maiser, and tax for that matter.

If you just get them and use them I don't think there are maiser issues.
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Offline Chaikel

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2011, 06:40:51 PM »
If you sell them they are income and subject to maiser, and tax for that matter.

If you just get them and use them I don't think there are maiser issues.
I spoke to a well known Choshen Mishpat posek in JLM. He asked me tons of questions back and forth for over a half hour to understand exactly how the system works. He told me that if you would be taking the flight in coach and you are going business with points, then you have to give ma'aser on the value of the coach ticket, plus what you would pay to upgrade.
I you wouldn't have flown at all, then you have to give ma'aser on the amount you would have been willing to pay to take that flight.

I think this might be a YLORMW (your local orthodox rabbi may vary) but it makes sense.
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Offline henche

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2011, 07:53:56 PM »
nah. I don't give maaser on anything I don't pay taxes on.
Haven't given maaser in years

Offline Cholentfresser

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2011, 09:02:07 PM »
TFS.
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Offline APoshiterYid

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2011, 09:20:03 PM »
Remember that Office Monochrome Printer deal on staples last year? It was selling on all the websites for $250, but I actually got paid $30 to buy it. I asked my rov and he said that it goes based on FMV, so if I were to donate it then I could count it for $250 worth of maaser. (Of course, one might argue that the printer netted me $30 and $250 worth of maaser, for a total of $280, so I would also have to pay $28 of maaser from that...)
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Offline aycee

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 09:29:08 PM »
I spoke to a well known Choshen Mishpat posek in JLM. He asked me tons of questions back and forth for over a half hour to understand exactly how the system works. He told me that if you would be taking the flight in coach and you are going business with points, then you have to give ma'aser on the value of the coach ticket, plus what you would pay to upgrade.
I you wouldn't have flown at all, then you have to give ma'aser on the amount you would have been willing to pay to take that flight.

I think this might be a YLORMW (your local orthodox rabbi may vary) but it makes sense.

Strange... Why does it make a difference what the plane ticket would normally cost or how much an upgrade would cost? Does that mean that if I buy a ticket with cash at a 50% discount I need to separate ma'aser for the 50% I saved?!
The fact that you got great value for a point should not mean that you need to give more ma'aser for it. A point has a market value, ma'aser should be based on that value, the fact that you personally can stretch your points to buy more is irrelevant.....

Offline Dan

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 09:34:21 PM »
Maybe we should start giving maiser every time we use a coupon in the grocery store?
Or for shopping online and not paying sales tax?
Or for getting 70% off at Jos A Bank?

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Offline tripper

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2011, 09:49:26 PM »
My rabbi says 10% of miles earned market value to tzedaka. So if you get 100 Continental Miles, you would have to give to maaser the market value of 10 CO miles.

Offline Dan

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2011, 10:50:23 PM »
My rabbi says 10% of miles earned market value to tzedaka. So if you get 100 Continental Miles, you would have to give to maaser the market value of 10 CO miles.
There's a lot of ridiculousness going on in this thread IMHO.

Does your Rabbi also say you pay maiser on cash back earned from a credit card?
I have a newsflash.  That cashback isn't earned money.  It's a purchase rebate, not income.  Even the IRS, who would love to tax everything if they could, doesn't tax cashback rebates or miles because they are a purchase rebate.  As are miles from flying.  It's the reason I'll pay more to fly CO over WN-part of that cost is allocated to miles.

The IRS also doesn't consider signup bonus miles to be income because they are also a purchase rebate-the bank is just prepaying them to you under the assumption that you will make future purchases (or they require a minimum amount of purchases) or even better yet owe them interest.

And counting a $250 FMV item as maiser if you donate it?  Maybe we should all start buying items that are FAR or 99% off and never have to pay maiser by donating them and counting maiser at FMV?

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Offline aycee

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2011, 10:52:49 PM »
Maybe we should start giving maiser every time we use a coupon in the grocery store?
Or for shopping online and not paying sales tax?
Or for getting 70% off at Jos A Bank?

That wouldn't make sense. We don't give ma'aser on $ saved, we give it on $ earned. Which is why I dint understand the pask of the rosh kollel (see above).
But points are earned, not saved, and they have a cash value....

Offline myb821

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2011, 10:55:42 PM »
but points r just like a cash back rebate so they r actually saved not earned

Offline smurf

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2011, 11:09:18 PM »
When making purchases I take points into the price consideration. For example I'll use the gas station that has same price cash and credit even though the price is a few cents more then the cash price across the street because the points I earn make it worth it. So I see earning points simply as saving on the items you buy and since when do you owe maaser on money saved? If I walk instead of taking a bus do I owe maaser on the $2.50 I saved?

Offline arie

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2011, 11:17:03 PM »
Do you need to give Ma'aser on physical gift that you received? I would say points or miles are in the same category. selling for cash may be different. ask your local Rabbi and ymmv

Offline Dan

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Re: MA'ASER ON POINTS???
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2011, 11:17:14 PM »
If I walk instead of taking a bus do I owe maaser on the $2.50 I saved?
+1,000
I mean no offense, but some of these Rabbis need a dose of common sense.
Saving≠Earning.
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