Is my purchase of Girl Scout Cookies tax-deductible?
Where Cookie Money Goes
When you buy delicious Girl Scout Cookies, you’re helping to power new, unique, and amazing experiences for girls—experiences that broaden their worlds, help them gain essential life skills and entrepreneurial expertise, and prepare them to practice a lifetime of leadership. And guess what—100 percent of the money stays local!
Your cookie purchase not only supports girls’ success, but helps them find the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ within to do amazing things for themselves and for their communities.
Girls Learn the “5 Skills”
Our cookies are on a mission: to help girls learn five skills that are essential to leadership, to success, and to life.
Skill #1—Goal Setting
"I know I can do it!"
“We're all about trying new things and having fun. Selling cookies is about both. My friends and I work together to set our team goal for the season; maybe we'll donate to our local animal hospital or go on an adventure. Sure, selling the cookies is great. But what we do with the money we earn is even greater.”
Skill #2—Decision Making
"I make smarter decisions."
“When I sell cookies with my Girl Scout forever friends, we make our own decisions, like how many boxes we want to sell. We all have to agree on what we'll do with the money, which means talking it out and being okay not getting our way sometimes. And we have to figure out how to solve problems, like what to do when one of the girls is sick and can't help out. Our decisions matter.”
Skill #3—Money Management
"I make change happen!"
“It's cool that I get to make change when someone buys cookies. I'm really careful about it. I count it out twice, so I know it's totally right. And I know each box sold gets us one step closer to our goal.”
Skill #4—People Skills
"I get a lifetime supply of confidence in every box."
“I've met so many new people at our cookie booth. And I've gotten really good at chatting with them about how we are doing more than just selling Girl Scout Cookies. We’re earning money to achieve our cookie-season goals and do great things.”
Skill #5—Business Ethics
"Selling cookies is more than just business."
“The other day at the cookie booth I made my friend's mom laugh really hard and she totally forgot her change. I made sure she got it back. She was so impressed she bought another box of cookies. Now I'm even closer to reaching my goal for robotics camp.”
All of the revenue earned from cookie activities—every penny after paying the baker—stays with the local Girl Scout council. Each council determines its own revenue structure depending on its cookie cost, local retail price, and the amount that is shared with participating troops and groups. On average, Girl Scout council net revenue is approximately 65–75 percent of the local retail price, and the amount that is shared with participating Girl Scout troops and groups, referred to as troop proceeds, is approximately 10–20 percent of the local retail price. Cookie program revenue is a critical source of funding for local Girl Scout councils, and it is often what makes it possible to serve girls in hard-to-serve areas, and maintain camps and properties.
Girl Scout troops and groups must pool their proceeds to pay for program supplies, activities, and group travel. Girl Scouts may not earn proceeds as individuals; however, Girl Scout councils offer a wide variety of recognition items, program- and store-related credits, and travel experiences that girls are eligible to earn individually based on their sales. All troop proceeds and other rewards earned through participation in the Girl Scout Cookie Program must be used to enhance each girl’s Girl Scout experience.
No, if you keep the cookies. If you buy Girl Scout Cookies and take the cookies home (to consume them), you've purchased a product at a fair market value. For this reason, no part of the price of a package of Girl Scout Cookies used in this way is tax-deductible.
Yes, if you leave the cookies with Girl Scouts as a donation. Many Girl Scouts ask customers to pay for one or more packages of cookies for use in their Take Action/Service projects or "Gift of Caring" programs. Customers not receiving Girl Scout Cookies don't benefit directly from paying for them, so those individuals may treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable contribution. Additionally, customers may wish to donate cookies they have purchased from a Girl Scout to another organization, which may qualify as a donation to the organization receiving the cookies and may therefore be tax-deductible.