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    Hello I am new to this forum and I think it is great! We are in a new pack and last year someone got our EIN using their Social Security Number and they want to be off. Our Charter Organization will not let us use their EIN. Do we have to open and close the bank account for everytime we change Treasurers or is their a more permanent way to get this done?

  • #2
    Does your Charter Org know and understand that they own the Pack?

    I am not sure about an EIN for a Scout unit, but you would have to switch signing authority for these changes. I was on the Pack account as Cubmaster for awhile until the CC & Treasurer took it over. I was just on so I could sign checks that the Treasurer made out to himself due to purchases needed that he needed rembursement for. He's a CFO and didn't want it to look bad.

    I am not a CPA or a Tax person, but I would consult with your DE and work with the CO to understand this arrangment. Hopefully your CO is a Non-Profit, so you can take advantage of that status.


    • #3
      You may want to talk to the bank president about how to make this work more smoothly.
      Obviously the best way is through your Charter Organization. Regardless of which EIN is on the account, the assets your unit accumulates ultimately belongs to them, not the BSA or any individual member. Using their identification is one way of securing that.


      • #4
        Thank you. We have talked to them several times and are very adamant that they we can NOT use the number. So that option is out (trust me we have begged and pleaded) and I do not want to upset them because they are nice (except obviously the treasurer). DE says to open with our SSN and just open and close each time you get a new treasurer. I am not an accountant but that just does not seem right! Cub Scouts I thought was designed for boys to move on to troop and the parents would go with him and that is just the nature of things why could we not set this up so it can run continously?. I would like to a successful unit but when we are gone I do not think I would want anyone to keep my SSN number on either as it is considered income and I would have to put the income on the taxes (please correct me if I am wrong).


        • qwazse
          qwazse commented
          Editing a comment
          Don't use any individual's # from here on out. See GeorgiaMom's post below.
          That link is new, and the most detailed I've ever seen from the BSA.
          Beats me why it is on the Seabase site instead of Scouting.

          A lot of folks do the individual thing because it is less of a paper-chase. But that's a poor excuse that puts the unit at risk for all manner of graft and corruption. (The most obvious is actually the treasurer declaring those $$ as income and then applying the untaxed portion for his/her personal gain.)

      • #5
        Hi Ksokolik,

        I am a sadder but wiser former Cub Scout treasurer. Thank you for donating your time and effort to the kids.

        Your DE is wrong about suggesting that you use your personal SS# to open the account. It is a bad idea for all the reasons you stated and more, plus it's against BSA's national fiscal guidelines, which you would reasonably expect a DE to know:

        I walked into a perfect storm of bad bookkeeping and poor leadership. Our pack had not filed taxes on its income for seven years prior to my taking the job, nor had the chartering organization (on the pack's income). What I learned from my own experience is that much of what the BSA and the pack leaders insisted was true is wrong.

        Having been through an IRS enforcement action as a teenager when my parents got in trouble for unfiled taxes, I was aware that most of what the Council and the pack leaders were telling me was incorrect. After being told to "not discuss the subject further with anyone" by the Council and the pack (and I mean calling me at home repeatedly and chewing me out), I went to my CPA to verify that my concerns were valid.

        According to the CPA, they were. I followed the CPA's instructions (and the IRS written guidelines, and what I had been personally told by the IRS enforcement agent during my parents' ordeal), gave all the appropriate figures in writing to all the people who were supposed to file them with the IRS at the CO and the pack, and had my name removed from the bank account.

        I know from hard personal experience that if you can sign a check, you can be held liable for unfiled or unpaid taxes. When it comes to any question of personal tax liability, I want answers from someone who is educated and licensed to give tax advice in my state. That means a CPA, tax attorney, or similar. NOT the DE, the Council, the pack leader who works at a hardware store, or the stay at home mom in charge of the CO (PTA).

        It is not appropriate for the BSA to harass a volunteer because he or she consulted a CPA, insurance agent, or anyone else to make sure that the BSA's instructions would not lead to personal liability or problems. I quit. I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for the BSA.

        Honestly, if your DE can't even correctly relay the BSA's own two page handout on fiscal policies for units, why would anyone trust him to give accurate advice on dealing with federal taxes?

        For your own sake, please get professional advice on how to handle this. Being a treasurer for any group is a big responsibility, and you can be held personally liable if things aren't done correctly.

        Good luck,



        • Basementdweller
          Basementdweller commented
          Editing a comment
          This was the same lady months ago posted a long rant about the evils of scouting and money.....How wrong we are in the way we run our finances.

          She deleted her posts as I remember.

          The IRS is welcome to come look at my units books.....Very transparent If they want to send a guy to look at both of the dollars we have they can sure due it.

          I am not paranoid either.

        • FrankScout
          FrankScout commented
          Editing a comment
          Ditto to that BD!

        • Brewmeister
          Brewmeister commented
          Editing a comment
          GM, It says right in the document that you posted that units do not need to file a tax return.

      • #6
        Any entity can apply for a Federal EIN. One doesn't need to be tax-exempt or a business. The pack, even the den level can apply. Call the IRS and ask how to apply, or apply online.


        • #7
          GeorgiaMom's link ( ) covers the BSA financial bases pretty well.

          Many councils have this information on their website (mine has had it for at least the last 10 years).

          As the above policies state, units should NEVER use an individual's SS# to get an EIN. Since your Charter Organization will not let you use it's tax ID # for your bank, simply go to the IRS website, fill out form SS-4, and get an ID # for your Pack.

          Meanwhile, you might have your Pack's leaders discuss with your Pack's Charter Organization Representative, and Charter Organization Head, what it actually means to charter a BSA unit.


          • #8
            Our District has its own tax number that they let the packs use on their bank accounts.


            • #9
              Brewmeister wrote: "GM, It says right in the document that you posted that units do not need to file a tax return."

              Yes, I know. I posted the BSA financial guidelines to show the OP that his DE isn't even quoting his own organization's two page rulebook correctly, which puts the DE's competence in serious question.

              I have stated previously that much of the BSA's advice to units and volunteers about federal taxes is wrong. Some of the BSA's advice agrees with federal tax law (like the part about not using a volunteer's SS# for pack finances). Some BSA advice goes directly against federal tax law, like what I was told by the BSA and our pack leaders about how it was ok for our pack income to not be included in any tax filings at all.

              At least I knew from my previous experience with the IRS that the BSA and my pack leaders were telling me wrong. If that makes me "paranoid", fine. At least I have sense enough to learn after being burned once.

              I have previously posted the links to the IRS documentation that anyone who can sign a check for the pack is a "responsible party", and personally liable for unfiled and unpaid taxes. It is true that the charter organization is supposed to file them on behalf of the pack, and most do. Packs generally do not file taxes because they are a part of the charter org, and the charter org includes the pack's finances in the CO"s 990 return.

              The catch with my pack is that the charter org had *no treasurer at all* during the year I served. The treasurer moved out of state unexpectedly and it took them months to replace her. No one was in the chair to file the taxes at all. No one could sign checks either. Our CO (PTA) was a complete royal mess. The entire PTA board quit in a snit and just left the school hanging with programs unfunded. Our school's fall festival had to be called off this fall, to the great disappointment of the kids, due to the total mismanagement of last year's board.

              Maybe all of you are dealing with responsible CO's that file taxes and take care of finances in a sane way. I was not that lucky.

              So, knowing that there was no one at all at the PTA signing checks or filing taxes last spring, and knowing that I was personally liable if the pack's taxes were not filed (having been told to my face by an IRS agent) -- I checked to find out if anyone upstream at the PTA was filing taxes on behalf of the nonexistent treasurer and the board members who all resigned. Not only had last year's taxes not been filed, no one at the PTA had filed taxes on behalf of the pack all the way back to 2006, when it was founded.

              So, I showed all this, including the IRS documentation to the pack leaders, and was again told to shut up.

              So, I went to a qualified and licensed tax advisor (CPA) on my own time and my own dime to get real advice. I was told that I should send the correct figures in writing to all parties (PTA, BSA, and pack) and ask them to file the taxes, which I did. This got me an angry call from the BSA letting me know they were very angry all the way up to the state level.

              Now, if the CO is supposed to file the taxes for the pack, I find it really hard to understand why it would be a bad thing to send the final year's income and expense numbers to the CO for them to file the taxes for the pack as they are supposed to do, but anyhoo....

              "The CO is supposed to file the taxes for the pack, but you can't send them the numbers to file the taxes with...." ???

              So, hey, no matter how ugly things get, I will go right on telling people to get a CPA to advise them on how to file the taxes and protect themselves personally if they choose to be BSA treasurers. If y'all want to poke the hive because you haven't been stung yet, y'all go right ahead. I have been pounded by the IRS once, for no other reason than the people who gave birth to me cheated the government. I have no need to be pounded again.

              The people at the BSA council are not educated to tell me about my personal tax liability, nor are they licensed in my state to give me tax advice. Most of them can't even quote their own two page, error filled document correctly. I don't give a crap what they say.

              Last edited by GeorgiaMom; 11-25-2013, 02:08 PM.


              • dedkad
                dedkad commented
                Editing a comment
                GeorgiaMom says: "The entire charter system is designed to shift legal responsibility to the CO's and the units. The BSA goes to great lengths to make sure they are not responsible for anything. So, when things go wrong, who gets left holding the bag? Sometimes, the individual volunteer. I doubt many BSA volunteers realize that."

                Please provide an actual example of when a BSA volunteer was found liable.

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Seriously sentinel.....

                Are you actually reading her posts.......

                Pure self serving paranoia........If I was that worried about protecting myself......I would never leave my house.

                but no........I haul a bunch of 11-15 years old out backpacking and rappelling........I see that as a more risky venture than IRS looking at my units books.

              • Sentinel947
                Sentinel947 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yea Basementdweller. I did read her post. I think her experience is an isolated incident. Just because we disagree with people doesn't stop us from being courteous.

            • #10
              At the close of each calendar year, I send complete financials (bank ledgers, copies of statements, and committee financial reports) to the CO. I do it via Registered Mail and retain the receipt. In 21 years, I have yet to have a problem. And If I did, I'd simply produce a copy of the receipt, and the documents I sent. Ball Game Over. Troop/Pack finances should never be a reason for a treasurer to have to live in their car. If it is, you have TOO MUCH MONEY!

              Raise what you need, and spend what you raise. Follow that mantra, and you'll never be wrong.
              Last edited by FrankScout; 11-28-2013, 06:58 PM.


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Every town or major city has the BSA Troop that is a corporation, they never stop fundraising. We have one that raises $250,000 and own a big bus, program is free for the youth. But the parents work consession stands at the Major league sports team and the major university stadium year round.

                I ask why??? rumor has it that they have a million dollar bank account.

                Raise what you need then spend it. Nothing more.