There’s a lot of excitement and planning that accompanies the Feast of Tabernacles. When you are going to a Feast site outside the United States, in addition to travel plans, hotels, and currency exchange, you might want to consider how and when to make your Holy Day offerings. If you would like your contribution to be included in your year-end receipt for tax deduction purposes, read on.
Each year, the question arises from U.S. members traveling to foreign Feast sites (including Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean) whether they should mail in their Holy Day offerings to the home office or if they should contribute directly at the Feast site they are attending.
It comes down to this: If U.S. members traveling abroad want their Holy Day offerings to be included in their end-of-year donation receipt, they should mail their offerings directly to the home office in Cincinnati, before or after the Feast.
United States law states that only contributions to the Church in the United States are tax-deductible. Contributions to foreign church organizations (which include donations at foreign Feast sites) cannot be taken as tax deductions, and the Church cannot issue donation receipts on those offerings.
So by mailing your Holy Day offerings to the home office, your contributions will be appropriately receipted and reported to the IRS, allowing you to take a tax deduction at year end.
Of course, so as not to “appear before the Lord empty-handed,” and out of courtesy to the international area hosting the Feast where you attend, please consider giving some of your offering (preferably in the local currency) on the Holy Days at the site you attend.
To summarize: Only those offerings received at the home office can and will appear on your U.S. donation receipt for tax purposes. Any offering given at an international Feast site will be kept in the country of donation, and no donation receipt will be issued for those funds.
If you have any questions on this long-standing Church policy, please be sure to contact us through your pastor.
Check back later at this website http://donate.ucg.org/ to donate for the Holy Day offering.