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Product ID: 406228EAU
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Guidance on Lobbying and Political Campaign Activities of 501(c)(3) Organizations

OnDemand Webinar (88 minutes)

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.


Michael A. Clark, Sidley Austin LLP


Overview of Exempt Organization Lobbying and Political Activity Rules

• Lobbying Rules for Section 501(c)(3) Public Charities, Including the Section 501(h) Election, and Electioneering Limits

• Special Excise Taxes Applicable to Section 501(c)(3) Private Foundations Engaging in Lobbying or Political Activity, and Other Excise Taxes Applicable to Section 501(c)(3) Lobbying and Political Activity

• Other Types of Exempt Organizations Which May Be Used to Avoid the Above Limits for Section 501(c)(3) Organizations

Living With the Section 501(h) Election

• Basic Section 501(h) Limits for Direct Lobbying and Grass Roots Lobbying

• Advocacy Which Is Not Lobbying-Getting Your Point Across Without Making a Lobbying Expenditure

• Special Exceptions-Nonpartisan Research and Analysis and Other Exceptions

Avoiding Section 501(c)(3) Organization Electioneering

• Electioneering Prohibition and Identifying Exemption Jeopardizing Activities

• Rev. Rul. 2007-41-Participating in Public Debate Without Electioneering

• Use of Other Types of Exempt Organizations, Such as Section 501(c)(4)