The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

WASHINGTON — Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

irs-logoCertain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

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— Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

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Author: bdpatoday

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, was founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania over 40 years ago in 1975 to promote professional growth and technical development in underserved communities for those in or entering information and communications technology (ICT) oriented fields of interest and related industries. bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429) is a monthly serial periodical published in Washington, D.C. by participating local BDPA Chapters of National BDPA (NBDPA) within their respective media markets by local chapter Communications Committees. bdpatoday is emailed to BDPA members, BDPA corporate sponsors, or electronically delivered to BDPA Chapters and Chapter Interest Groups (CIGs) via social media as a benefit of membership. Popular Technology TV (PTTV) features the latest TECH-Inclusion innovations and multimedia STEM programming content produced for video streams and television programs by Industry with bdpatoday and National BDPA's Washington, D.C. Chapter for general audiences.

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