We will be electing a new President this November. But are we all are aware of the requirements imposed on 501(c) (3) organizations, including churches in relation to political campaign activities? Per the Internal Revenue Code all 501(c)(3) organizations are not permitted to directly or indirectly participate, and/or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for elective office at the federal, state and local level. This also applies to churches. If determined that an organization has violated these rules the organization may have it tax-exempt status revoked or be subject to excise taxes. The prohibition extends beyond the endorsement of a candidate.
Applicable organizations cannot contribute to political campaign funds. Distributing statements prepared by others for or against a candidate are also prohibited. If an organization allows a candidate to use the facility of the organization then all opposing candidates must be given the same opportunity. Individual leaders of organizations may become engaged in the political process but they must clearly demonstrate that the involvement is at a personal level and not at the organizational level.
Such personal involvement should not be demonstrated at organizational functions or activities. 501(c)(3) organizations (including churches) must remember that they must conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner. See IRS website for additional information on this subject. And fore more info, contact your Rea advisor today.
This article was originally published in Illuminations: Facts & Figures from people with a brighter way, a Rea & Associates enewsletter, 3/12/2008.
Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.