Scouts-L Mail Archive for December of 1999: Re: Deductibility of Contributions
Re: Deductibility of Contributions
Bruce E. Cobern
Mon, 20 Dec 1999 00:25:22 -0500
> From: Scouts-L Youth Group List [mailto:Scouts-L@listserv.tcu.edu]On
> Behalf Of Jim Mahoney
> Sent: Sunday, December 19, 1999 10:43 AM
> While I happen to agree with you, the conventional wisdom, and IRS
> regulations are working against us.
Well, I agree that conventional wisdom is working against us, I'm not
sure that there is anything in the Regs. that would be working against
us. It is also possible that Lucent has heard some of the conventional
wisdom from some of the councils, or even national.
> Case in point; our scoutmaster is employed by Lucent
> Technologies, and he applied for a funds under their
> volunteer's donation program.
> On the application they specifically state that if you are requesting
> funds for a Boy Scout troop they will not give the donation
> directly to the troop. They will either give it to the local scout
> council (we had doubts we would actually ever see the money) or
> give it to your chartering organization.
It doesn't surprise me that large corporations, as part of national
policy, requires that all donees be registered 501(c)(3) organizations.
It is much easier to KNOW that you will get a deduction than it is to
have to rely on the way an unregistered nonprofit is actually operated.
It would be nice to know for sure whether BSA has a group exemption or
not, but I have not researched it, nor do I really have the time to.
However, that still does not change the general point that it is
important to know the real story, not just the conventional wisdom, and
that in many cases the local outlet of a major corporation, and
certainly many local businesses, are much less concerned about the
deductibility, especially if the amounts are nominal or the donation is
"in kind." It would also be nice if councils stopped propagating
information that is, at best, misleading and would, instead, debunk the
conventional wisdom and take the time to find out the real scoop about
> That may not be such a bad thing. When you consider that
> 99.9% of troops don't have someone with our background to
> navigate the minefield of non profit tax rules and regulations,
> a great many troops would lose their tax exempt status
> unless they went the added expense of retaining an
> independent CPA to do all of their filing for them. This could easily
> erase the value of the additional contribution they might receive.
I absolutely agree that actually filing for a determination letter is
beyond the reasonable range for most units.
Bruce E. Cobern