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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 118198
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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I am launching a write-in campaign for a union election at

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I am launching a write-in campaign for a union election at my workplace. I would like to accept donations as it is a grassroots campaign. What do I need to know about accepting donations using Paypal or even cash donations in person? What are the IRS and Dept of Labor guidelines? Also, do I need to report who donated and how much? What if an individual who donated wants to know where the money is being spent (specifics)?

Thank you.
Before you can accept donations, you are going to need to form some type of corporate entity or organization. Additionally, the organization would not qualify for tax exempt status, so you would have to pay taxes on any money received. You would also have to account for all money received and it would have to be reported to the IRS as income. Since this is not like running for political office there are no guidelines for funding a union election campaign in this manner. If anyone donates money to you it is considered a gift to you and it is taxable as income.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

What about reporting those donations as a "hobby" income, and then deducting expenses from this income. Basically, can I end up with 0 at the end of the year if all funds from donations end up being expenses?I don't want to end up with a huge tax bill at the end of the year.
Running for a union office is not considered a hobby though, so you will have a tough time getting that approved. It could be considered an expense related to your employment which you could write off.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

It's not an election for personal union office. We are in a non-union shop and a union will have an election in a few months.We have a campaign to write-in a different union. So it's not about an individual campaign.
Then you could get donations from the other workers to help with getting a union in and you would have to disclose to them where the money is going. However, if you get money from outside, you would have to claim it as income and would not have any write offs for it.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok, so if my coworkers donate money to this cause using Paypal. I don't have to claim it as income? I only need to disclose to them how it was spent if they request it?
It is income, but it will be offset by your expenses you show in running the campaign to get a union in your employment.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Ok, so how is this income and these expenses claimed?
You need an actual tax expert for that question and it is a bit different from what you initially asked.
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