Despite what you might’ve heard, the Boy Scouts of America’s rules do allow for individual Scout accounts. Units are allowed under the Boy Scouts of America’s rules to utilize Individual Scout Accounts, if these accounts are operated within the parameters allowed by the Internal Revenue Service. Some practices, where dollar for dollar credit is provided for the SOLE benefit of the person who sold product based upon amount sold could violate the IRS’s private benefit rules when conducting any non-profit fundraising.
When participating in council-wide product sales, such as the Popcorn & Nuts Sale or Camp Card Sale, where some of the profit goes to the unit, some to the Council and some to a Scout’s Individual Scout Account does not necessarily mean that the Scout is getting all the credit for those sales. To the extent that the Scout is getting some credit, the IRS may allow that and the BSA does not prohibit that from being done.
There’s a lot more units should know about using Individual Scout Accounts. Rather than attempt to provide extensive guidance here in this guidebook, we highly recommend that units consult the following excellent resources on this topic provided by the BSA:
Product Sales Guide (Updated August 2014).
December 2014 CubCast. In it, Steve McGowan, General Counsel for the Boy Scouts of America, explains individual Scout accounts and how they fit into IRS rules.