The Internal Revenue Service has issued a formal Revenue Ruling (Rev. Rul. 2007-41) to provide guidance to charities on conduct that it will interpret as participation in a political campaign. Based in part on situations examined after the 2004 election and first issued as a Fact Sheet in 2006, the document is intended to help charities understand what they can and cannot do during an election campaign.
Section 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code prohibits a charity from participating in a political campaign. (See Ready Reference Page: “Charities May Not Participate in Elections.”) But the IRS said it found many charities, including churches, confused about the limits during its investigation of the 2004 election cycle. (See lead story March 1-15, 2006.)