Are Checkout Donations a Scam?

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, it’s likely you were asked to make a donation to some kind of charitable organization as you were checking out. Sometimes it's a simple process of rounding up the total of your order to the nearest dollar and donating the change, while at other times you’re given the option of donating $1, $2, or another amount. So, are checkout donations a scam? The short answer is no. The store serves only as a collection agent for your gift. Assuming the business is following the law, it won't include your donation as part of its business receipts or income, nor will it claim the charitable gift as an expense. In other words, your gift has zero impact on the store’s income taxes. Keep in mind that the store chooses the receiving charity, so make sure it’s one you can support. If not, you always have the option of directly donating to the charity of your choice. That way, you can be assured of receiving a receipt that you can use to deduct the donation from your taxes.