Supporting Issues, Not Candidates
How to maintain the distinction between political advocacy and campaign intervention.

Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart (Ephesians 6:6).

To explain how tax-exempt organizations, including churches, can hold a position on important issues without losing their tax-exempt status, the IRS released this ruling in 2007:

Section 501(c)(3) organizations may take positions on public-policy issues, including issues that divide candidates in an election for public office. However, section 501(c) (3) organizations must avoid any issue advocacy that functions as political campaign intervention. Even if a statement does not expressly tell an audience to vote for or against a specific candidate, an organization delivering the statement is at risk of violating the political campaign intervention prohibition if there is any message favoring or opposing a candidate. A statement can identify a candidate not only by stating the candidate's name but also by other means, such as showing a picture of the candidate, referring to political party affiliations, or other distinctive features of a candidate's platform or biography.

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Posted: March 1, 2013
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