If you’re planning on buying lots of Thin Mints this year (and if you’re not, there’s something deeply wrong with you) you’re probably wondering if the cookies are tax deductible.
After all, the Girl Scouts of America is a charitable organization.
Tax Cat Sez: They are… but only if you don’t take the cookies.
From the Girl Scouts website:
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.
So, for example, if you wanted to buy some Girl Scout cookies for members of our armed forces overseas, you could claim those cookies as a charitable donation.