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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Form 990 and Other IRS Tax Deadlines Pushed Back Until July 15, 2020

WASHINGTON [bdpatoday] — The IRS announced today that due to COVID-19, deadlines for any federal income tax filings and tax payments due from April 1 to July 14, 2020 have been postponed until July 15, 2020. BDPA Chapters and other IRS 501(c)(3) organizations normally filing on or before May 15th now have until July 15, 2020 for tax years ending December 31, 2019.

Of particular relevance to nonprofits, this relief applies to IRS Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-N, Form 990-PF, and Form 990-T. The deadlines for Form 4720 excise taxes filings, quarterly estimated tax payments on Form 990-W, Form 1065 partnership returns, and Form 1120-POL for political organizations have been similarly extended to July 15, 2020.

The extension of the deadlines until July 15, 2020 is automatic—nonprofits do not need to file any extension forms to qualify. However, those who need additional extensions beyond July 15, 2020 will be permitted to extend only until their original statutory or regulatory extension dates. Visit IRS FAQs for additional facts and deadlines.

[View Source | DWT, LLP]

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