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Guidance on Lobbying and Political Campaign Activities of 501(c)(3) Organizations, by Lorman

Guidance on Lobbying and Political Campaign Activities of 501(c)(3) Organizations is brought to you by Lorman

Learn how to avoid the pitfalls and how to take advantage of the opportunities available to 501(c)(3) organizations.

2020 is shaping up to be a year of hotly contested elections and battles over major legislation. Section 501(c)(3) organizations will need to participate in advocacy on public issues vital to their missions, but must do so only in ways which do not result in IRS challenges to their tax-exempt status. This topic will help exempt organizations and their advisors identify the activities which are treated as lobbying by section 501(c)(3) organizations and the limits on such activities, and to learn ways to engage in advocacy which is nonetheless not treated as lobbying for tax purpose. In addition, the material will outline the types of candidate-related activities which constitute prohibited electioneering for section 501(c)(3) organizations and identify strategies for supporters of such organizations to nonetheless engage in activities which support political candidates. Failure to observe the limitations on lobbying and electioneering can lead to revocation of an organization’s 501(c)(3) exempt status, so understanding these rules is critical for organizations seeking to protect their tax-exempt status while engaging in advocacy critical to their mission.

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