Jump directly to the content

The Do's and Don'ts of Political Activities by Churches

Understanding how a church's tax-exempt status is affected—or not—when it supports or opposes candidates, distributes voter guides, advocates for certain issues, and more.

The Do's and Don'ts of Political Activities by Churches
Image: adamkaz | Getty Images

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 those 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.

Many churches have violated this requirement in the past with no adverse consequences. However, the landscape is changing. The following articles explain the campaign limitation in detail, drawing on all relevant IRS rulings and court decisions. Also, includes analysis of the application of the limitation to several common church activities

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • June 10, 2020

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Sexual Harassment in the Christian Workplace - Executive Report 2020
Sexual Harassment in the Christian Workplace - Executive Report 2020
An inside look at the 2020 Church and Parachurch Ministries Workplace Environment Study
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
50-State Religious Freedom Laws Report
A review of state laws and court decisions affecting church leaders.
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Pastor, Church & Law, Fifth Edition
Learn which local, state, and federal laws apply to religious organizations.
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.