President Trump Intends to Eliminate Restrictions on Political Activity by 501(c)(3) Organizations

President Trump Intends to Eliminate Restrictions on Political Activity by 501(c)(3) Organizations

President Trump today announced his intent to overturn federal law known as the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from opposing or supporting any political candidate for office. Today’s announcement aligns with a draft Executive Order instructing the Secretary of the Treasury to not impose any tax or penalty or revoke the tax-exempt status of any person, church, synagogue, house of worship, or other religious organization based on any statement related to marriage, sexual orientation, gender, or abortion.

Notably, the Johnson Amendment as federal law cannot be overturned by Executive Order and requires an act of Congress. Accordingly, 501(c)(3) organizations should continue to adhere to their existing policies with respect to political activity and should continue to refrain from supporting or opposing any political candidate for office.

For more information on this topic, contact Heidi Christianson at 612.305.7698 or hchristianson@nilanjohnson.com; or Fred Struve at 612.305.7740 or fstruve@nilanjohnson.com.