TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tax Deductible Girl Scout Cookies

Girl_scout_cookies From the Girl Scouts web site

Q: Is the purchase of Girl Scout Cookies tax-deductible?

A: No and Yes.

No, if the customer keeps the cookies. Individuals who buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home, or consume them, have purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a box of Girl Scout Cookies used in this way is tax-deductible.

Yes, if the customer leaves the cookies with Girl Scouts. Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more boxes of cookies for use in their community service project, for example, collecting for a food pantry. The customers not receiving any Girl Scout Cookies do not benefit directly from paying for them. Those individuals may treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable contribution.

(Hat Tip:  Don't Mess with Taxes.)

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If the answer is "Yes," the customer had better get a written receipt from the Girl Scout if a tax deduction is planned. Required for any cash contribution effective 2007.

Posted by: Jay Wiedwald | Jan 28, 2008 11:12:15 PM