Another guide is the degree of secrecy called for. Watch out when ordinary, prudent discretion crosses the line into "cloak and dagger" activities like wiring small amounts repeatedly, moving cash or using way stations in moving money, etc.

Of course an accountant, like a lawyer or a judge, may interpret the law in a completely new light - if the interpretation is professional and defensible. One thing we know about the law is that it is not always easy to interpret (hence Einstein’s belief quote above).  But it is unethical to make an audacious claim based on the hope that the tax authorities won't notice.

Personally, I take full advantage of all of the tax deductions the government allows me.  I take deductions for my charitable donations, business expenses, gas mileage, and anything else that is provided for in the tax law.  I have come across quite a few people, Christians included, that cheat on their taxes.  And, in every case, I have been able to show them that by keeping good records and playing the game ethically, they can actually pay less taxes AND honor God.  And a funny thing happens when you honor God:  He blesses you.

This article originally posted March 3, 2008.

Steve Scalici, CFP® is the Senior Vice President of Treasure Coast Financial, located in South Florida. Steve is available to speak to your church or organization.  You can contact Steve at or 772-600-1053.  Steve is a registered representative of INVEST Financial Corporation.  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of INVEST Financial Corporation.