Thursday, April 14, 2011

Paying LDS Tithing online with Bill Pay

How (and why) to set it up

If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (AKA LDS, Mormon), then you are familiar with how to pay tithes and offerings to the church by filling out a tithing form and giving it to your bishop. If you are like me, this is about the only time you ever write a check. For most of my recurring expenses, I use my bank’s “Bill Pay” to automatically send the payment. It is easier to do it that way, and keeps me from forgetting to pay it. I have often wished I could do this with my regular tithing payments to the church. I have recently discovered that you can.

Why would I want to do so, you ask? The main reasons (many would list #4 as a strong reason #1):

1. It is easier. I get the same amount each paycheck, and then it takes care of itself. No more filling out forms, obtaining envelopes, and remembering to give them to a bishopric member at church.

2. I can set it up to pay every 2 weeks, pulled from my account on my payday (biweekly). This way I am “paying my tithing first”, right when I receive the increase.

3. I’ll never forget, then end up needing to write a big painful check all at once.

4. It is more secure. Less chance I or a bishopric member will lose my payment.

5. Local clerks, bishopric members, and other members with access to MLS never see what you have paid. At tithing settlement, you simply tell the bishop you paid to church headquarters and are a full tithe payer dispite the $0 balance on your statement.

How to set it up:

1. Fill out the BillPay Authorization Form and email it to donations@ldschurch.org. Within a day, you will get a return email confirming receipt of the form, and providing additional instructions. Those instructions look like this.

2. Set up a payee in your bank’s online bill payment system. The payee name needs to be “LDS-Tithing”*. Use your membership number as your account number, using the format ###-####-#### (include leading zeros and dashes). Use the address:

50 East North Temple Street

Room 1521

Salt Lake City, UT 84150

Phone: 801-240-2554

3. Send a one-time small payment, and then email donations@ldschurch.org to let them know you have sent your first payment. They will respond with a confirmation email when payment is received.

4. Now you can go into your bank’s bill payment system and enter a recurring payment for your regular tithes. Done.

5. If you would like to make a donation to another fund other than tithing, repeat step 2 above, using instead one of the following names:

· LDS-Fast Offering

· LDS-Missionary (General)

· LDS-Book of Mormon

· LDS-PEF

· LDS-Other

Note: All donations to the above categories go to the church’s general fund and not your ward fund. For this reason I recommend continuing to pay fast offerings and missionary offerings to the ward (give the deacons something to pick up on Fast Sunday).

*Note to Chase customers: There is a bug in the Chase Bill Pay system that makes “LDS-Tithing” payments go to the Book of Mormon fund. As a workaround, when doing step 2 above, you will get a pop-up offering some pre-set up funds to use rather thatn “LDS-Tithing”. Choose the “Tithing – LDS” option with the address which includes room 1521. I did this at the church’s instructions, and all is well.

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me. My email address is ryan at ryanaz dot com (spelled out to keep spammers from finding my address online.

To develop enduring faith, an enduring commitment to be a full-tithe payer is essential. Initially it takes faith to tithe. Then the tithe payer develops more faith to the point that tithing becomes a precious privilege. Tithing is an ancient law from God. 9 He made a promise to His children that He would open “the windows of heaven, and pour … out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” 10 Not only that, tithing will keep your name enrolled among the people of God and protect you in “the day of vengeance and burning.”

-Russell M Nelson, April 211 Conference

10 comments:

Warren said...

Awesome post, Ryan! Thanks :)

Christopher said...

where did you find this information? I am very interested! I know @ldschurch.org is a church domain; I used to be a church IT employee, but I never heard of this!

tll said...

thank you for the info! sooooo tired of forgetting to write a check since, like you, I don't do it that often anymore.

Unknown said...

I am working in the LDS donations office and the preferable method of payment is still to pay to the local unit. There should be a program coming soon within the next 5 years to allow all members to pay electronically, however this is not completed yet.

Unknown said...

Hi! Wondering how this works at tax time. Does headquarters send you a tax statement?

Unknown said...

Hi! Wondering how this works at tax time. Does headquarters send you a tax statement?

S said...

In answer to the last question, yes, the Church sends a year-end tax statement that includes both funds paid to general headquarter and funds paid to the ward.

teac77 said...

They've recently revised the form for this. The new one is called "Bill Pay Instructions.pdf".

Tawnie Irey said...

The bill pay form and instructions posted on this blog are out of date and no longer in use. Please contact the LDS Donations Department for the most up to date information. 801-240-2554 or donations@ldschurch.org

Unknown said...

It is going mainstream now! http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/first-presidency-approves-online-tithing-donations?adbid=10153135102182013&adbpl=fb&adbpr=53305042012&cid=social_20150430_44914196&short_code=2wf8p