Form 1023 Paperwork, In Millions of Hours, 1986 to 2016

Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Click image to learn more.

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Political Activity

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Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application

By Sandy Deja © 2016 400 pages ISBN 978-0-9815280-9-0

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This website has only a fraction of the information you can find in  Prepare Your Own 501(c)(3) Application:

Political activity (support of, or opposition to, candidates for public office) is absolutely prohibited for 501(c)(3) organizations, and will lead to revocation of exempt status as well as penalty taxes. (Do not confuse political activity with lobbying, or legislative activity.) 

Some examples of forbidden political activity:

  • Contributions to political campaign funds.
  • Written or oral statements in support of or in opposition to a candidate.
  • Candidate rating (of any kind - even scrupulous objectivity is no defense).
  • Making mailing lists, office space, or other services or facilities available only to a favored candidate.
  • Establishment of a PAC.


In addition to revocation of 501(c)(3) status, the IRS can impose a 10% tax on the political expenditure, and require recovery of the political expenditure. A 100% tax can be imposed if the funds are not recovered.  A 501(c)(3) that has had its exemption revoked because of political activity is prohibited by law from applying for 501(c)(4) status.

The non-partisan educational activities listed below are permitted, but 
be very careful. Do not engage in any of the listed activities without knowledgeable professional advice.

  • Publication of voting records 
  • Publication of candidates responses to questionnaires 
  • Public forums 
  • Voter registration activities 
  • Political science courses at universities 
  • News stories; news reporting