PBMares Accounting Blog

Executive Order Changes For the IRS Will Enforce Political Speech Made by 501(c)(3)s

Posted by Nick Preusch, JD, LLM, MSA, CPA on May 11, 2017 8:30:00 AM

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President Trump signed the Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty Executive Order on May 4, 2017. This Executive Order requests that the Treasury and IRS no longer enforce the Johnson Amendment, which does not allow 501(c)(3) tax exempt organizations to engage in certain types of political activities.

Specifically, 501(c)(3) states, in order to be tax-exempt, the entity cannot "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

Under the Executive Order, the Treasury cannot take adverse action, such as a penalty, loss of exempt status, against a tax-exempt organization making such political speech if "any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization on the basis that such individual or organization speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective, where speech of similar character has...not ordinarily been treated as participation or intervention in a political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) a candidate for public office.”

Topics: Not-for-Profits, Tax Updates

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Nick Preusch, JD, LLM, MSA, CPA

Nick is a Tax Manager at PBMares, LLP and part of the firm’s Not-for-Profit Team. PBMares, LLP is an accounting and business consulting firm serving U.S. and international clients, with offices in the Mid-Atlantic.

For more information, please contact the author at NPreusch@pbmares.com or visit: www.pbmares.com.

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