Great Lakes Council, BSA

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Unit Tax Exempt Status

Tax Exempt Status of Scouting Units
and Contributions to Units

A question that arises frequently is how the tax-exempt status of Scouting units works. The basic issues regarding the tax-exempt status of Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venture crews, Explorer units, and even Tiger Cub groups of Cub Scout dens are addressed in the basic concept of the charter process employed by the Boy Scouts of America reduced to the simplest terms as follows:

  1. The local council recommends that specific organizations receive a charter from the national office based on specific requirements and guidelines.
  2. These organizations vary from schools, religious organizations, civic clubs, neighborhood groups, business, industry, and others; each with a different tax status. While some may be tax-exempt under IRS Code section 501 (c)(3), others may not be tax-exempt

IMPORTANT: The tax-exempt status of the chartered organization determines the tax-exempt status of their units: pack, troop, post, etc.

The national office (National Council) maintains the group exemption status for the local incorporated Boy Scout councils and the local council trust funds conforming to the Model Form Trust Agreement.

Annually, the employer identification numbers of the local council and local council trust funds are forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service in order to maintain the group exemption status of these designated subordinates receiving a charter from the national office. The chartered organizations with tax-exempt status maintain their status independently from the National Council and local council. Their units’ tax-exempt status will be consistent with the tax-exempt status of the chartered organization.