Jump directly to the content

IRS Clarifies Ban on Political Intervention

IRS ruling addresses 21 questions about churches and political involvement

Overview

In order to maintain their exemption from federal income taxes, churches and other religious organizations must comply with several requirements specified in section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. One of these requirements is that the organization not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. Despite the importance and potential impact of this limitation on religious organizations, it has not been defined with sufficient clarity. The IRS has attempted to provide more clarification in recent years. Most recently it published a ruling that addresses 21 questions. These questions, and the IRS responses, are summarized in this feature article.

Background

The participation by churches and church leaders in political campaigns is an American tradition. Common examples include:

  • Inviting candidates to speak during worship services

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • September 3, 2007

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Find comprehensive help understanding United States tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.
Managing Church Facility Use
Managing Church Facility Use
Find insights to equip your church to host members and strangers.
Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity
Church Issues: Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Identity
Richard Hammar reviews public accommodations laws.
Politics and the Church
Politics and the Church
Tax and legal guidelines faith-based organizations need to know before jumping into the political fray.