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Going Outside the United States for the Feast?

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Going Outside the United States for the Feast?

There’s a lot of excitement and planning that accompanies the Feast of Tabernacles. 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 their Holy Day offerings to the home office or if they should contribute directly at their Feast site.

It comes down to this: If U.S. members traveling abroad want their Holy Day offerings 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, please consider giving some of your offering (preferably in the local currency) on the Holy Days at your site. This is very much appreciated by the host country. In many cases, U.S. money converted into local currency and donated at the Feast goes a long way for international congregations.

To summarize: Only those offerings received at the U.S. home office can appear on your U.S. donation receipt for tax purposes. Offerings 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, please contact your pastor for more information.

Visit donate.ucg.org to donate for the Holy Day offering.