Teacher Who Raised More Than $40,000 to Help People During Pandemic is Hit With $16,000 Tax Bill

Louis Goffinet (Facebook)
Louis Goffinet (Facebook)

Louis Goffinet had no clue that he would have to pay taxes on all of the money he raised through Facebook Fundraiser.

A teacher in Connecticut raised more than $40,000 for families affected by COVID-19, but now he’s paying for it – literally.  Louis Goffinet, 27, started a Facebook campaign to help families with food and rental assistance and was able to raise $41,000, through Facebook Fundraisers, but now he’s been hit with a tax bill of $16,000, CBS News reported.

"After consulting with several tax professionals, the unanimous consensus seems to be that I am responsible for paying income tax on the funds I was able to raise through Facebook," Goffinet wrote in a Facebook post. 

Goffinet said he raised funds through two Facebook fundraisers, one to assist local families with groceries and the other to provide holiday financial help.  He reportedly deposited the funds into his bank account and then spent it on what families needed.

When tax-return time came, Goffinet received a 1099 from Stripe, which Facebook uses, and it stated he would owe $16,103 for the fundraisers. The money is due May 17, on the IRS extended tax-filing date.

Facebook notes in their terms that personal fundraisers are "generally are not tax-deductible under applicable law."

He took to asking the public for help in his predicament.

"This is more than I can reasonably afford to pay alone, and am asking for the community's help," he wrote in his Facebook post. 

He also told CBS MoneyWatch: "Part of the message people are seeing now is it's not worth it to help others because you will only set yourself up for a really tough situation," he said.

Goffinet said since telling people about his dilemma, he has received some donations and two people have offered to cover the entire amount once it’s set in stone.