I'm going to post this as an answer because it's from the GoFundMe website, but ultimately even they say to speak with a tax professional about it.
Am I responsible for taxes? (US Only)
While this is by no means a guarantee, donations on GoFundMe are
simply considered to be "personal gifts" which are not, for the most
part, taxed as income in the US. However, there may be particular,
case-specific instances where the income is taxable (dependent on
amounts received and use of the monies, etc.).
We're unable to
provide specific tax advice since everyone's situation is different
and tax rules can change on a yearly basis. We advise that you
maintain adequate records of donations received, and consult with your
personal tax adviser.
Additionally, WePay will not report the funds
you collect as earned income. It is up to you (and a tax professional)
to determine whether your proceeds represent taxable income. The
person who's listed on the WePay account and ultimately receives the
funds may be responsible for taxes.
Again, every situation is
different, so please consult with a tax professional in your area.
And here's a blurb from LibertyTax.com which adds to the confusion, but enforces the "speak with a professional" idea:
Crowdfunding services have to report to the IRS campaigns that total
at least $20,000 and 200 transactions. Money collected from
crowdfunding is considered either income or a gift.
This is where things get a little tricky. If money donated is not a
gift or investment, it is considered taxable income. Even a gift could
be subject to the gift tax, but that tax applies only to the gift
These are donations made without the expectation of getting something
in return. Think of all those Patriots’ fans who gave money to
GoFundMe to help defray the cost of quarterback Tom Brady’s NFL fine
for Deflategate. Those fans aren’t expecting anything in return –
except maybe some satisfaction -- so their donations are considered
gifts. Under IRS rules, an individual can give another individual a
gift of up to $14,000 without tax implications. So, unless a Brady fan
is particularly generous, his or her GoFundMe gift won’t be taxed.
Now consider that same Brady fan donating $300 to a Patriots’ business
venture. If the fan receives stock or equity in the company in return
for the donation, this is considered an investment and is not taxable
. However, if the business owner does not offer stock or equity in the
company, the money donated could be considered business income and the
recipient would need to report it on a tax return.