May an incorporated church, which does not have 501(c)(3) status, receive tithes and offerings from its members?
A bona fide church is classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity whether or not it has received specific recognition of exemption from the IRS. (See Ready Reference Page: “What Constitutes ‘Church’ Eligible for Exemption”) The Tax Code specifically exempts churches from the general requirement to file for recognition of charitable exemption.
If it is a bona fide church, then tithes and offerings are both permitted and deductible as charitable contributions. Even if the organization is not classified as a church, however, members may give tithes and other offerings. They just won’t be deductible. It is usually a good idea to obtain a specific recognition letter to avoid issues such as these.