Are Girl Scout Cookies Tax Deductible?

April 23, 2024 - Friendly Tax Expert

You've just been approached by cute Girl Scouts asking if you would like to purchase some delicious cookies. You can't seem to help yourself but to buy some Samoas and Thin Mints! However, you start wondering whether this can be considered as a charitable donation.

Can you get a tax deduction when you buy Girl Scouts of the USA cookies? Since the Girl Scouts is a non-profit organization, will purchase of Girl Scout cookies qualify as a charitable contribution?

In this blog post, we will clarify the answer to this question. We will even provide scenarios to illustrate the tax implications if you purchased a product from the Girl Scouts. By learning the answer, you can get your taxes in order and at the same time, support a good cause.

What are Girl Scout Cookies?

Girl Scout Cookies are a beloved American tradition, selling millions of boxes each year. These tasty cookies do more than just satisfy sweet cravings as they support an important cause. Through the Girl Scout Cookie Program, Girl Scouts learn entrepreneurial skills and gain experiences that set them apart from their peers, as shown by a Girl Scouts study.

Additionally, buying Girl Scout Cookies helps local communities! Your purchase supports local Girl Scouts, giving them opportunities for new experiences and adventures all year long. These experiences expand their views, teach important life skills, and get them ready for future leadership roles.

The money made from Girl Scout Cookie sales stays in the local council and troop, helping to fund activities all year and support important projects led by the girls themselves. How much money a council makes and how it's divided with the troops depends on cookie costs, local prices, and how they choose to share the earnings.

Four young Girl Scouts selling boxes of cookies outdoor

Are Girl Scout cookies tax deductible?

It depends. If you buy Girl Scout Cookies at a fair purchase price, whether or not the money you've paid can be tax deductible depends on what you do with the cookies.

Yes, they can be tax deductible if you donate the cookies. If you donate the cookies back to the Girl Scout troop or other charitable organization, you can deduct the cost as a charitable donation. This is often the case in Gift of Caring or Cookie Share programs, where customers can purchase cookies to be donated to local causes such as food banks or military organizations. Keep in mind that you must have documentation from the organization stating that you donated them back. If you've donated more than $250 worth of Girl Scout Cookies, contact your local council for proper documentation.

No, they are not tax deductible if you consume them. If you or your loved ones ate the cookies, unfortunately they are not tax deductible. However, you can still feel good knowing your purchase is supporting a great cause and helping girls develop important skills.

In summary, it all boils down to how you choose to use the Girl Scout Cookies after purchasing them. If you eat them, they are not tax deductible. But if you choose to donate them back to the Girl Scout troop, you can deduct the cost as a charitable contribution, as long as you have proper documentation.

Do the Girl Scouts pay taxes on the cookies they sell?

No, the Girl Scouts of the USA do not pay income tax for selling cookies. As they are a non-profit organization, they are exempted from paying taxes for the money earned through related activities. Selling cookies is considered a related fundraising activity for the Girl Scouts, and the money earned goes towards funding their programs and activities.

However, if any non-profit organization, including the Girl Scouts, earns a significant amount of income from unrelated business activities such as renting out property or selling products that are not related to their mission, they may be subject to taxes on that income.

Girl Scout in uniform holding a tray of cookies

Get tax advice from experts

Laws on tax deductions are constantly changing and can vary based on individual circumstances. Therefore, it is always best to consult with a tax professional or financial advisor for personalized advice on tax deductions.

If you have any questions related to tax deductions for any other charitable contributions, make sure to consult with a tax expert. Reach out to us so we can help you evaluate your options and make sure you're getting the tax benefits you deserve.