Dos and Don’ts in an election season
Churches and religious organizations qualify for exemption from federal income tax, and are generally eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. However, churches may jeopardize or even lose this status during election season.
According to the IRS Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, churches are among the tax-exempt organizations "prohibited from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."
But there are more "dos" than "don'ts" regarding churches' political activity. An activity may be prohibited if it is for the benefit or detriment of a candidate or is partisan.
Adapted from an Interpreter article written by Joey Butler, young adult content editor, United Methodist Communications.
Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, Internal Revenue Service Publication 1828, download at www.irs.gov/eo or order by calling 800 829-3676.
IRS EO Update, a periodic newsletter with information for tax-exempt organizations and tax practitioners who represent them, visit www.irs.gov/eo and click on "EO Newsletter."