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School teacher receives $16K tax bill after raising $41K for charity

School teacher receives $16K tax bill after raising $41K for charity
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A middle school teacher received a $16,000 tax bill after he raised over $41,000 on Facebook to help his neighbors pay for food and rent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Louis Goffinet originally paid out of his own pocket to help his elderly neighbors pay for food, and went to the grocery store to get groceries for them, the Hartford Courant reported.

After a time, he realized that more people needed help and set up a Facebook fundraiser, setting the limit to $200. Almost a year later, he had two Facebook fundraisers set up totaling more than $41,000 in donations.

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Goffinet tracked over 140 grocery trips he made, 125 families he helped pay for dinners, gave holiday gift cards to 25 families for Christmas, paid for 31 Thanksgiving dinners and gave 5 families rent assistance with the money, according to the Courant.

Fundraisers that make over $20,000 on Facebook are taxable, according to the paper. Goffinet received a 1099 tax form, with a $16,000 bill. 

“I was so shocked,” Goffinet told the Hartford Courant. “When I think about the mental spot I was in at the end of January, coming off a second fundraiser that was quite a lot of work — busy weekends coordinating Thanksgiving, holiday gifts — to get what I perceived as a bill in the mail for $16,000 was just shocking.’′

A certified accountant, Dawn Brolin, is helping Goffinet with the form, but he still expects to pay some of the money.  

“She’s going to find a way we can file my taxes appropriately,” he said. “That could mean a few different things. It will likely still result in some sort of a tax burden but she can’t quantify it yet until we sit down next week and pull up all my records.”

He has received $2,000 so far from the community to help, but has continued to raise more money to help cover the tax.