MANSFIELD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut teacher who raised more than $40,000 to help people buy groceries during the pandemic may not be hit with a big tax bill after all.
Louis Goffinet received a form telling him he owed $16,000 in taxes on the money. But Goffinet told the Hartford Courant that after consulting with experts, he believes the money will be classified as a gift exemption and not taxed.
“Everything I would have received would qualify as a gift and not taxed,” he told the newspaper. “I’m backing all that up in addition with all my credit card statements, bank statements, the tracking I did of who’s getting what, all the receipts. It seems like I’m in good shape.”
The 27-year-old middle school teacher began spending some of his own money to pick up groceries for elderly neighbors afraid to go to the store during the early days of the pandemic. He later organized two fundraisers on Facebook, with a donation limit of $200. Goffinet eventually bought holiday gifts and paid rent for people in need, in addition to groceries.
In January, Facebook sent Goffinet a 1099 form that stated he owed taxes on the money he had raised. Facebook warns users that money generated from a fundraiser on the social media platform may be taxable if more than $20,000 is raised and that a 1099 tax form will be issued.
Goffinet has received about $13,000 in donations to pay his tax bill, and told the Courant he intends to use that money to create a nonprofit organization — or send the money back, if people want it.