Freedom Path's Continued Journey: Challenging the IRS' Dubious "Facts and Circumstances" Political Test

When is a tax-exempt organization too political? Freedom Path is a nonprofit that has repeatedly sought to challenge the IRS’ multi-factor “facts and circumstances” test for deciding that question, particularly with respect to politically oriented educational issue advocacy. Throughout varying court challenges, Freedom Path has asserted that it is properly organized as a Section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization and entitled to engage in constitutional free speech activities that do not cross over the political line for such tax-exempt status. The IRS, on the other hand, has rejected such argument per its Revenue Ruling 2004-6, and has won so far. Who is right? Does IRS Revenue Ruling 2004-6 pass constitutional muster?

IRS Issues Auto-Extension for Form 990 Filings

Most nonprofit organizations are required to annually file a Form 990 with the IRS.  The filing is tied to the nonprofit’s fiscal year end and is due on the fifteenth day of the fifth month after the fiscal year ends.  For organizations with calendar fiscal years, the filing deadline is May 15.  For fiscal years ending June 30, the deadline is November 15.  Under normal circumstances, nonprofits may seek a six-month extension for Form 990 filings by filing Form 8868.  This year is not normal, to say the least.

Lobbying in Chicago: Nonprofit Compliance Challenges

Is your nonprofit affected by Chicago’s amendments to its lobbying ordinance?  Last summer, the City of Chicago updated applicable lobbying registration and other requirements, including new applicability for nonprofit employees and other advocates.  On January 14, 2020, the Chicago Board of Ethics issued three binding advisory opinions aimed at nonprofit lobbying compliance, with a strong emphasis on ethics and transparency coupled with the promise of more guidance to come. Enforcement of the nonprofit registration provisions in the lobbying ordinance has been delayed until April 20, 2020. Here’s what responsible nonprofit leaders need to know now about Chicago lobbying, and how they can best prepare.

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