IRS Take Note: The Tie Goes to the Speaker

Both section 501(c)(3) public charities and section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations face distinct constitutional tensions between the IRS’s regulation of their tax-exempt limitations and the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of their First Amendment rights.  This tension is perhaps most evident for “issue advocacy,” which is the term coined for nonprofits’ educational communications on public policy matters related to their tax-exempt goals.