Lobbying + Political

Notwithstanding the fact that charitable organizations are generally not permitted to undertake political activities, they are permitted to annually undertake a limited amount of lobbying (both grassroots and direct) activities. However, if a charitable organization undertakes “too much” lobbying, their tax-exemption will be unduly jeopardized. That being said, we have noticed that many exempt organizations overstate their lobbying expenditures as a result of thinking that the Internal Revenue Service has a broad definition of such. The reality is that the IRS generally has a more narrow definition of lobbying than what most exempt organizations think. Accordingly, this provides us with the opportunity to provide the following valuable services to our charitable organization clients:

  • Undertaking of a lobbying analysis to ascertain whether certain expenditures made by a charitable organization were considered to be lobbying expenditures pursuant to the IRS’s definition of such.
  • Recommending when the 501(h) lobbying election should be made by a charitable organization undertaking significant lobbying activities.
  • In the absence of a 501(h) election being made, determining whether the charitable organization has conducted “too much” lobbying.
  • Determining whether an organization’s lobbying activities needed to be disclosed in a ASC 740 (FIN 48) footnote on the charitable organization’s Form 990.