Complying with IRS Regulations on Lobbying by Public Charities

Last Updated: July 01, 2000

Complying with IRS Regulations

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This brochure explains the Internal Revenue Service regulations that restrict the lobbying activities of certain non-profit organizations.  Nonprofit organizations can be structured in several ways. The information in this brochure applies only to nonprofit groups organized as public charities under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. People who donate to these groups receive the most generous tax deductions allowed by the IRS. Because of this benefit, significant restrictions are placed on the groups' expenditures for political purposes. This brochure explains those restrictions.

If your organization is set up differently -- for example, as a Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization or as a Section 527 political organization -- you should seek legal advice on the restrictions that apply to you.

The regulations governing lobbying are complex, and although this brochure explains them in plain language, it is no substitute for competent legal advice.  It should help you decide if you need to consult an attorney.

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