When an election season approaches, churches may question whether or not they can participate in political campaign activities or advocate for a particular cause. Churches may hesitate to play an active role in political issues because they fear that participation will result in a violation of their tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Service’s guidelines. While churches should follow the guidelines, they are not excluded from participating in political activities. An area where churches are permitted—even encouraged—to play a role is the area of promoting civic engagement.
The following IRS guidelines outline the civic activities in which churches are permitted to engage. Before churches proceed, they should refer to these guidelines to find out what activities they are permitted to do without jeopardizing their tax-exempt status.
“Section 501(c)(3) ...