RIFC - Rhode Island Film Collaborative - Independent Films and Filmmakers in RI



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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

IRS Reminder For Charities

An Important reminder as the RIFC grows and becomes involved in more diverse activities. We do fall into the charitible, non-profit category.

(from an accounting newsletter)

501(c) 3's Role in Campaign

The prohibition against political campaign activity has been in effect for more than half a century and bars certain tax exempt organizations from campaigning on behalf of, or in opposition to, political candidates. The reality is that federal law prohibits charities (and churches) from becoming directly or indirectly involved in campaigns of political candidates. However, these organizations can engage in advocating for or against issues and, to a limited extent, ballot initiatives or other legislative activities.
"The political contests, especially for president, are starting earlier than usual. The IRS, as it has in the past, wants to remind charities and churches of the ban on political campaign activity. We also want to urge nonprofit and religious organizations to review the guidance we have issued to help them avoid any problems," said Steven T. Miller, Commissioner of IRS' Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division.

The goal of the IRS is to educate the leadership of these organizations to help them stay within the legal boundaries. In this regard, IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41 outlines a number of scenarios to help charities and churches understand the ban on political campaign activity and actions that may arise. This ruling is available on the IRS web site (http://www.irs.gov/) or you may email me and I will send it along to you.

In addition to the revenue ruling, the IRS has other helpful information for churches and charities on its website. For example, IRS Publication 1828, Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations, contains a discussion of the law affecting political campaign activity by churches and religious institutions.

If you have questions or would like to discuss further, please contact our Not-for-profit Services Team at www.TrustedAdvisors@KahnLitwin.com.

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