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Greater St. Louis Area Council: Boy Scouts of America

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Home»Volunteers»Current Volunteers»Unit Finances»Tax Information for Unit Leadership

Tax Information for Volunteers

OPENING YOUR UNIT'S BANK ACCOUNT

Unit funds should be placed in a checking or savings account in a local bank. To open an account, the unit will need a copy of their charter and a Federal Employer Identification number. Units should apply for their own; more information can be found below under Does Your Unit Need A Federal Tax Identification Number.

First units will need to complete IRS Form SS-4.  The Federal SS-4 walk through identifies which boxes require completion to be granted a FEIN. 

Your unit's account should require at least two signatures on each check.  The unit leader could be one of the signees, but it is recommended it be a committee person including the unit treasurer.

IS YOUR UNIT EXEMPT FROM PAYING STATE SALES TAX? THE ANSWER IS YES…

 
Missouri:
The state of Missouri requires every Cub Scout pack, Boy Scout troop, Venturing Crew, and Explorer post to have its own sales tax “exemption letter” and “sales tax exemption number.”  This letter authorizes sellers to exempt the tax for items/supplies purchased for your unit, such as patrol food purchases, advancement/unit purchase material at the Scout Shop, etc.) It is not for individual use, AND clothing is not exempt. Some sellers require a copy of the letter, so be prepared.
 
In order for your unit to be exempt from paying Missouri sales tax, you need an “Exemption Form Missouri Sales and Use Tax on Purchases and Sales” letter issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue.  To acquire this letter, units must submit a completed “Missouri Sales/Use Tax Exemption Application” Form No. DOR 1746.
 
To obtain a form, call 1-800-877-6881 (a recorder). Leave your name and mailing address plus the number of the form needed, DOR 1746. Note: Response from the 800 number may take up to six weeks. You can also obtain a form via the Internet www.dor.state.mo.us. (1) Under taxes, click on forms, (2) click on sales tax, (3) click on form 1746. You can call the state office direct at 573-751-2836.
 
Illinois:
Scouting units are also exempt from sales tax in Illinois; however, the state of Illinois does not require individual units to have their own sales tax “exemption letter” and “sales tax exemption number.”  This number authorizes sellers to exempt the tax for items/supplies purchased for your unit, such as patrol food purchases, advancement/unit purchased materials at the Scout Shop, etc.) It is not for individual use, AND clothing is not exempt. 
 
Scouting units may use the Greater St. Louis Area Council Illinois Tax Exemption Letter and number: To obtain a copy of this letter, contact the Development Department, Greater St. Louis Area Council–Boy Scouts of America, 4568 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108-2193, 800.392.0895.
 
DOES YOUR UNIT NEED A FEDERAL TAX IDENTIFICATION NUMBER? THE ANSWER IS YES…
 
Scout units are exempt from paying tax on interest earnings or having money withheld from interest earnings.  However, banks and other financial institutions are required by law to have a Federal Tax Identification Number (also referred to as an “EIN” – Employer Identification Number) for every account.  Units should NOT use the Social Security number of an adult leader.  If they do, the IRS will attribute all banking transactions, unit purchases, etc. to that leader as an individual. Units may use the tax ID number of their chartering organization, if given permission. This may be especially useful for the unit if that organization is tax-exempt.
 
Units obtain their own tax ID number by completing IRS Form SS-4 and there is no cost involved.  IRS Form SS-4 can be downloaded from www.irs.gov.   When downloaded, Form SS-4 is a fill-in form, and when completed, is suitable for faxing or mailing to the IRS.  You may also request a copy over the phone, 1-800-829-3676.  You should receive your order or notification of its status within ten workdays.  
 
Effective January 1, 2011, units can apply for an EIN online, by telephone, by fax, or by mail, depending on how soon use of the EIN is required. 
 
By visiting www.irs.gov/businesses, units may apply online for an EIN.  At the beginning of the online EIN application process applicants will be asked to check a box that best describes your legal structure. The legal structure for all Tax Exempt/Non Profit Organizations is found under the 7th option, “View Additional Types, Including Tax Exempt and Governmental Agencies.” Applicants will receive an EIN online and can use it immediately.   Online applicants have an option to view, print, and save their EIN assignment notice at the end of the session. 
 
You can receive your EIN by telephone and use it immediately.  Call the IRS at 800.829.4933 (toll free).  If you are applying by telephone, it will be helpful to complete Form SS-4 before contacting the IRS. An IRS representative will use the information from the Form SS-4 to establish your account and assign you an EIN. Write the number you are given on the upper right corner at the form and sign and date it.  Keep this copy for your records. 
 
Under the Fax-TIN program, you can receive your EIN by fax within 4 business days. Complete and fax Form SS-4 to the IRS at 859.669.5760.  Long-distance charges will apply. Fax-TIN numbers can only be used to apply for an EIN. Fax-TIN is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Be sure to provide your fax number so the IRS can fax the EIN back to you.
 
If you wish to complete your form through the US Mail, complete Form SS-4 at least 4 to 5 weeks before you will need an EIN. Sign and date the application and mail it to:
 
Internal Revenue Service Center
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
 
At any time you may call about the status of an application or verify an EIN by calling 800.829.4933.  When calling to verify, leaders need to know as exactly as possible how their organization is named in the database and/or know their EIN number to begin with so the IRS can match information provided.

Form 990-N
In 2008 the IRS introduced a new, abbreviated filing for small tax-exempt organizations with annual gross receipt of less than $25,000: Form 990-N. The BSA national office consulted with the IRS and outside counsel, if this new filing requirement applies to Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, Venturing crews, and other units. In their opinion, most Scout units do not have to file the new Form 990-N. For most units, no filing is required.

The only exception is for the very small number of units that have filed for separate, federal tax exempt
status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Those units must file either Form 990-N (if their annual gross receipts were less than $25,000) or the more detailed Form 990 or 990EZ (if annual gross receipts were $25,000 or more).