Jump directly to the Content
QUICK REFERENCE CHART

How Various Political Activities Might Affect Tax-Exempt Status

A helpful chart weighing what’s permitted and what’s prohibited for churches, based on IRS guidance.

How Various Political Activities Might Affect Tax-Exempt Status
Image: bns124 | Getty

Election years frequently prompt a common question among church leaders and pastors: What types of political activities and speech are allowed under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code?

While political activities and speech by churches and pastors are protected by the US Constitution’s First Amendment, the Internal Revenue Code contains specific language that either prohibits or limits certain activities conducted by tax-exempt entities. Violations can lead to excise taxes, the revocation of federal tax exemption, or both. While few public examples exist of the enforcement of these rules over the years by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), churches and church leaders still should understand the prohibitions and limitations, including any potential tax consequences any violations may trigger.

This chart provides a variety of examples of political activities churches might wish to do and ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • April 18, 2022

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Charitable Contributions Tax Reminder 2021
Charitable Contributions Tax Reminder 2021
Encourage giving by informing your donors about tax deductions they could claim.
2022 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2022 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Support your ministry with the most authoritative and comprehensive, year-round tax resource.
20 Finance Questions Churches Ask
20 Finance Questions Churches Ask
Richard Hammar answers relevant tax and finance questions for church leaders.
Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status
Protecting Your Tax-Exempt Status
Understand the requirements of your tax-exempt status.