501(c)(3)s Cautioned About Political Campaign Activities
May 6, 2004
The Internal Revenue Service published an advisory April 28 reminding exempt organizations that they are prohibited from engaging in political campaign activities. Colleges and universities exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) should take steps during this presidential election year to ensure that campus activities are in compliance with IRS rules. Should the IRS find that an organization has engaged in prohibited campaign activities, the consequences are revocation of exempt and excise taxes on the amounts spent on the activity.
While 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to sponsor debates or discussion forums to educate voters, those events may not show a preference for or against a particular candidate. Under IRS rules, Section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from
- endorsing candidates;
- making campaign donations;
- engaging in fundraising; and
- distributing statements or becoming involved in any other activities that might be beneficial or detrimental to any candidate, including activities that encourage individuals to vote for or against a candidate based on nonpartisan criteria.
The IRS has issued similar advisories in past presidential election years.
- Recent Executive Orders Aimed at Pay Gaps and Overtime Expansion
- New GASB Concepts Address Measurement
- Behind the Costs of a College Degree
- 2014 Higher Education Accounting Forum
April 27-29, 2014
- ON-DEMAND: Understanding the Results of the 2013 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, and a Look to 2014 and Beyond
- ON-DEMAND: How Behavioral Changes Helped Cut Energy Usage in Half
- ON-DEMAND: Developing a Market-Informed Approach to Tuition Pricing
- ON-DEMAND: Responsibility Center Management: The Process Necessary to Complete a Successful Implementation
- ON-DEMAND: OD: Responsibility Center Management: How Innovations Have Changed the Nature of RCM
- A Guide to College and University Budgeting: Foundations for Institutional Effectiveness, 4th ed. - by Larry Goldstein
- NACUBO's Guide to Unitizing Investment Pools - by Mary S. Wheeler
- Managing and Collecting Student Accounts and Loans - by David R. Glezerman and Dennis DeSantis