Can a tax free club lose its tax free status by taking a stand on a political issue?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Nebraska
Hi, Welcome to JustAnswerMy name is XXXXX XXXXX X would be glad to help Q. What did you state as your purpose when you filed your application with the IRS for 501(c)(3) status ? Thank you, ANDREA
We are a gun club with a shooting range. If we come out, as a club, making a stand on some political issue, can we lose our tax free status?
We are just a social club of members who have, in common, an interest in hunting, shooting, etc. If we published, for example in a "letter to the editor", a stand on a 2nd Amendment issue, could we lose our tax free status?
Relist: Incomplete answer.
I am sorry if there was any minor delay, but I do not give stock Answers. I was researching your question.
A 501(c)(3) organization cannot directly or indirectly participate in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for elective public office.Violations of this prohibition could result to revocation of your organization's tax-exempt status or imposition of an excise taxes based on the amount of the organization's money that was used in the prohibited activity. The IRS defines "political campaigns" as campaigns between people running for offices in public elections from running for President of the United States down to running for the local school Board. And, defines "participating" as "acting directly or indirectly, on behalf of, or in opposition to" any candidate, or taking a stand in any campaign, supporting or opposing one or another candidate.
Unfortunately, the IRS does not have a "black and white" list of "Do's and Don'ts" and uses a "facts and circumstances" test to determine whether an organization is in violation of the prohibition on political campaigning. The IRS evaluates the conduct within the contex of the 501(c) (3)'s other activities and the current politicalclimate.
Below are some of the activities that the IRS has listed as violations:
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