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Posted (edited)

If a scout is dual-enrolled, what happens to funds in their individual Scout Account from the first troop they joined?

We are phasing out individual Scout Accounts by the end of this year, but we have two scout unit members who have also just joined another unit in a different District and plan to hold simultaneous membership. They will be doing their meetings and advancement with the other troop.

We are temporarily chartered with Council, having lost our Elks charter, but hope to charter elsewhere soon.

Do we send checks to the new unit to transfer their money Do we keep funds in our unit accounts? Don’t funds belong to the CO?

Help and info are much appreciated!

p.s I had not heard of Scouts belonging to two units simultaneously…

This is my first question for the forum and I’m sorry if I put it in the wrong place. Please advise if I need to move it

Edited by RememberSchiff
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This is one of the few policies our units have, so that families know up front, and the committees can just follow the policy. For us, the Scout account moves to the new unit if the new unit has scout accounts. If not, they are kept with the unit for camperships. There is no national or council policy since scout accounts are a grey area. 

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1 hour ago, Spatulate said:

If a scout is dual-enrolled, what happens to funds in their individual Scout Account from the first troop they joined?

We are phasing out individual Scout Accounts by the end of this year, but we have two scout unit members who have also just joined another unit in a different District and plan to hold simultaneous membership. They will be doing their meetings and advancement with the other troop.

We are temporarily chartered with Council, having lost our Elks charter, but hope to charter elsewhere soon.

Do we send checks to the new unit to transfer their money Do we keep funds in our unit accounts? Don’t funds belong to the CO?

Help and info are much appreciated!

p.s I had not heard of Scouts belonging to two units simultaneously…

This is my first question for the forum and I’m sorry if I put it in the wrong place. Please advise if I need to move it

Great question!

Scouts can belong to as many units as they wish.  It is called "multiple membership", and they only have to pay one fee to National/Council.

But, as you have discovered, one unit must be "primary."  This is the unit that must pay the membership fee, insurance, council service fee, etc, and must also be the primary for advancement reporting to eliminate confusion and redundant submissions.

Now, to your money question...  The money does not technically belong to the Scout.  It is being held on behalf of the Scout by the Chartering Organization.  There are several IRS rules governing this. In a nutshell, two specifically apply:

1.  Any funds raised for the purposes of Scouting must only be used for Scouting.  That is, your unit may not use the fundraised monies to buy things for Scouts that are not directly related to Scouting.  You can pay for Summer Camp, uniforms, camping fees, etc, buy you may not buy personal boots, backpacks, a birthday cake, etc...

2.  Since the CO technically owns all fundraised monies, make sure they are OK with the transfer.  I know we talking minor amounts, but you do need to keep them in the loop.  I cannot imagine them saying 'No", but they could.

Other issues...    A.  never write a check or give fundraised money directly to the Scout.  Although the IRS doesn't really care about you and your unit account, the principle is that when you give the Scout money directly for their efforts at fundraising, it counts as income.     

B. never use monies fundraised by the Scout to pay for things for the Scout's parents; membership fees, camping fees, etc.  Parents can participate in fundraisers and establish a Scout account, and now you can track that in Scoutbook.

If the monies were raised under your old CO, then just clear it with them.  Write a check to the new Troop, put the Scout's name in the Memo line, and Bob's your uncle...

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Posted (edited)

What a helpful reply - many thanks!

I will ask the parents which will be there primary unit and also share the rest of your message with our treasurer.

Edited by Spatulate
Apologies for meme insertion.
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55 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Great question!

Scouts can belong to as many units as they wish.  It is called "multiple membership", and they only have to pay one fee to National/Council.

But, as you have discovered, one unit must be "primary."  This is the unit that must pay the membership fee, insurance, council service fee, etc, and must also be the primary for advancement reporting to eliminate confusion and redundant submissions.

Now, to your money question...  The money does not technically belong to the Scout.  It is being held on behalf of the Scout by the Chartering Organization.  There are several IRS rules governing this. In a nutshell, two specifically apply:

1.  Any funds raised for the purposes of Scouting must only be used for Scouting.  That is, your unit may not use the fundraised monies to buy things for Scouts that are not directly related to Scouting.  You can pay for Summer Camp, uniforms, camping fees, etc, buy you may not buy personal boots, backpacks, a birthday cake, etc...

2.  Since the CO technically owns all fundraised monies, make sure they are OK with the transfer.  I know we talking minor amounts, but you do need to keep them in the loop.  I cannot imagine them saying 'No", but they could.

Other issues...    A.  never write a check or give fundraised money directly to the Scout.  Although the IRS doesn't really care about you and your unit account, the principle is that when you give the Scout money directly for their efforts at fundraising, it counts as income.     

B. never use monies fundraised by the Scout to pay for things for the Scout's parents; membership fees, camping fees, etc.  Parents can participate in fundraisers and establish a Scout account, and now you can track that in Scoutbook.

If the monies were raised under your old CO, then just clear it with them.  Write a check to the new Troop, put the Scout's name in the Memo line, and Bob's your uncle...

So, I have this question:

Parent of a Scout, in their first 2 years of scouting , pay $600 for camp fees-things which are permissible to be paid by scouting account funds.

Year 3, scout gets up to speed and raises $250 through unit fundraising activities.

Scout then uses $150 for more camp fees, then quits Scouting leaving a $100 balance in the Scout's scout account.

Can the remaining balance of $100 in Scout's scout account be refunded to parents to partially reimburse them for the $600 in camping fees they paid during Scout's first two years of tenure, leaving them with only a $500 parental outlay?

Note, had Scout earned $250 through fundraising activities right off the bat, those funds would have been used first before parents paid out of their pocket, and parents would have only spent $500.

Mathematically, the result is the same.

The only difference is the timing of the additions to the Scout's scout account.

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My understanding is that one cannot cash out a scout account because that would be considered income by the IRS. IOW, no refunds.

 

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30 minutes ago, SiouxRanger said:

So, I have this question:

Parent of a Scout, in their first 2 years of scouting , pay $600 for camp fees-things which are permissible to be paid by scouting account funds.

Year 3, scout gets up to speed and raises $250 through unit fundraising activities.

Scout then uses $150 for more camp fees, then quits Scouting leaving a $100 balance in the Scout's scout account.

Can the remaining balance of $100 in Scout's scout account be refunded to parents to partially reimburse them for the $600 in camping fees they paid during Scout's first two years of tenure, leaving them with only a $500 parental outlay?

Note, had Scout earned $250 through fundraising activities right off the bat, those funds would have been used first before parents paid out of their pocket, and parents would have only spent $500.

Mathematically, the result is the same.

The only difference is the timing of the additions to the Scout's scout account.

@SiouxRanger, yes, it's the timing that ties your hands here.

We use a policy of all fundraising monies come out of the account first to pay for things.  Any parent--provided monies still in the account can be paid out back to the family.

Again, no one is going to come looking.  It's an integrity issue for me.

13 minutes ago, Spatulate said:

My understanding is that one cannot cash out a scout account because that would be considered income by the IRS. IOW, no refunds.

 

Not quite, @Spatulate, see above.  If it is the parents' money, then it is the parents' money...

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Not quite, @Spatulate, see above.  If it is the parents' money, then it is the parents' money...

Got it, thanks! Wish the money issue was less complex! I also wonder if different units have varying policies on this topic (?) 

In our units, no parents/grandparents add to Scout accounts, so it is moot. We have been having funds raised from events go into individual Scout accounts to be used only for scout-related purchases, but as mentioned, we are phasing those out to be in better compliance with IRS.

Edited by Spatulate
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If there are any monies left over when a Scout leaves the unit, we let the Scout determine the disposition.

Most of the time, they ask to transfer it to another Scout in need, or make it a "donation" to the general Troop fund.

BTW, these monies can be used to support funding for Eagle Projects!

1 minute ago, Spatulate said:

Got it, thanks! Wish the money issue was less complex! I also wonder if different units have varying policies on this topic (?) 

Yes, different units will just blow this kind of nitnoid stuff off...

Again, for me, it's an integrity issue.

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Posted (edited)

The best way to approach it is two view this as two different pots of money.  The fundraised pot, which is restricted in its use, and the parent-provided pot, which is unrestricted.  Money for Scout-related items always comes out of the fundraised pot first, until it is empty. 

Anything left over in the fundraised pot at the end of a Scout's tenure stays with the Troop.  Parent-provided money goes back to the family, no questions asked.

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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2 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

If there are any monies left over when a Scout leaves the unit, we let the Scout determine the disposition.

Most of the time, they ask to transfer it to another Scout in need, or make it a "donation" to the general Troop fund.

BTW, these monies can be used to support funding for Eagle Projects!

Yes, different units will just blow this kind of nitnoid stuff off...

Again, for me, it's an integrity issue.

Yes, which hits on my OP. The two families in question have a foot in two units, but I have just asked them to determine which unit is their primary. (Not sure I will get a reply). The three involved Scouts have $2100 between them. As CC, I simply want to do the right thing with these funds...transfer to the new unit IF that is their primary unit and with approval of former COR under whom the funds were raised, or maintain funds in our unit to be used __?__. I do not want to cause more drama here. 

Appreciate everyone's helpfulness.

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InquisitiveScouter is spot on.  Scout Accounts were a bad idea from the get go. Complicates things. Integrity. A Scout is Trustworthy.  

Scout stuff only, never personal stuff,  The moneys can never be viewed as a "COMMISSION" for raising funds for the Unit. The money is the units, and thereby the CO's . Period. 

Scout leaves Scouting? Money is the units. Scout transfers to another unit?  The money is the "original" unit's. They could send it to the new unit, but I have often seen them not. 

One Scout I am aware of saved up all his SA, and when he Eagled out.... He bought the Troop a new custom painted trailer.  

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One reaon I am not a fan of parent's putting $ into a troop account ahead of time for campouts, etc... is this practice reduces (eliminates?) the opportunity for scouts to learn budgeting, responsibility, planning, value of $, etc... at the individual and patrol level. When scouts have to "touch the $" at all levels of the program they benefit greatly. Every step of the process that separates them from the $ is an opportunity lost. 

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6 hours ago, SSScout said:

The money is the units, and thereby the CO's . Period. 

Scout leaves Scouting? Money is the units. Scout transfers to another unit?  The money is the "original" unit's. They could send it to the new unit, but I have often seen them not. 

 

This is the really critical part to understand: the money is never the scout's, it belongs to the unit.  The scout isn't entitled to it, the unit can decide to spend money on a scout that a scout helped raise, but it can also decide not to, even after the money has been raised.

It's not for the scout or the family to decide what happens to money that be in a "scout account", that's a decision for the unit.  The scout or family can express an opinion, but it's critical to understand that it's not their decision.

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14 hours ago, DuctTape said:

One reaon I am not a fan of parent's putting $ into a troop account ahead of time for campouts, etc... is this practice reduces (eliminates?) the opportunity for scouts to learn budgeting, responsibility, planning, value of $, etc... at the individual and patrol level. When scouts have to "touch the $" at all levels of the program they benefit greatly. Every step of the process that separates them from the $ is an opportunity lost. 

Totally agree.  I fight against this with parents all the time.  Most of the time, they do not want to deal with the pain of teaching their Scouts how to earn and handle money.  They just want to write a check and move on to the next distraction.  SMH.

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