Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Political activity by 501(c)(3)s: guidance and commentary

On July 28, 2008, the Director of the IRS's Exempt Organizations Examinations, issued a directive examining several cases involving allegations of how political campaign activity on the websites of section 501(c)(3) organizations.  This directive is the latest installment of the agency's Political Activity Compliance Initiative (PACI) for the 2008 electoral cycle. (In June 2008, the Deputy Inspector General for Audit issued a report on the initiative entitled "Improvements Have Been Made to Educate Tax-Exempt Organizations and Enforce the Prohibition Against Political Activities, but Further Improvements Are Possible.")

The July 2008 issue of the IJCSL contains an article that examines federal tax law restrictions on the political activities that tax-exempt charities can pursue.  In "Should the 501(c)(3) Political Activity Prohibition Be Revoked?",  Joseph Boatwright, a Jacksonville, FL attorney, argues that it should be repealed, at least with respect to religious organizations.   



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