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Tax Blog

Girl Scout Cookies

You might have seen them in front of stores and in malls. The Girl Scouts of America are currently selling cookies as a way to fund raise for their events. The events include camping, horseback riding, visits to museums, and other activities. These funds defray costs as much as possible for the individual troops, some of which are very low income.

However, is that purchase of Thin Mints deductible as a charitable contribution to the Girl Scouts of America?

The short answer is NO. According to the GSA, the purchase of cookies is not a deductible contribution. While similar cookies could be purchased in a generic form for less, the GSA and IRS consider the purchase (brand name Girl Scout cookies) to be at fair market value. No deduction is available for this purchase.

However, if you purchase boxes of cookies and donate them back to the troop or another charitable entity, such as a church or homeless shelter, then they are deductible as a charitable donation for the full purchase price. Just be sure that if you donate 63 boxes or more ($250+), be sure to get a written receipt as you will possibly have to substantiate the donation with the IRS.

If you are interested in purchasing Girl Scout cookies go to this address and enter your zip code:

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