The Church in a Political Year
August 8, 2016
Below are some resources that were collected by the Northern Piedmont District to help churches and pastors to deal with political issues during this election year: The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances. For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner. On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention. https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/the-restriction-of-political-campaign-intervention-by-section-501-c-3-tax-exempt-organizations Other Resources Tax Guide for Churches & Religious Organizations: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf Revenue Ruling 2007-41: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-07-41.pdf Charities, Churches & Politics: https://www.irs.gov/uac/charities-churches-and-politics Also, here is link to pretty comprehensive information on the Pew Research Forum website: Preaching Politics from the Pulpit: http://www.pewforum.org/2012/10/02/preaching-politics-from-the-pulpit-2012/ - The Pew Forum commissioned this publication solely to better inform religious groups and others on the provisions and meaning of the law as it is currently written. The Pew Forum’s overall mission is to deliver timely, impartial information on issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. From the North Carolina Conference about Election Year Politics and the church: https://nccumc.org/mediacenter/political-discussions-in-an-election-year/ Also, the North Carolina Council of Churches has scheduled workshops across the state this fall:
Please save the date for one of the following workshops this fall across North Carolina. Registration is limited to the first 50 people at each site. Workshops will run from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Please use this link, which includes payment options.