Form 990 Schedule C is a crucial component of the annual information return filed by tax-exempt organizations. This schedule serves as a platform for organizations to disclose information about their political campaign activities and lobbying activities.
In this resource guide, we will learn about the key aspects of Form 990 Schedule C, from its purpose to filing requirements and commonly asked questions.
Table of Contents
Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities is a supplementary schedule that accompanies the standard Form 990/Form 990-EZ and is filed annually by Section 501(c) organizations, and Section 527 organizations.
It empowers organizations to provide comprehensive disclosures regarding their involvement in political campaigns or lobbying activities.
Non-profit organizations that file Form 990 or Form 990-EZ are generally required to complete Schedule C if they have engaged in any political campaign activities or lobbying activities during the tax year. This includes activities such as making contributions to candidates, engaging in grassroots lobbying, or conducting direct lobbying.
If an organization has an ownership interest in a joint venture that conducts political campaign activities or lobbying activities, the organization must report its share of such activity occurring in its tax year on Schedule C.
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All Section 501(c) organizations and Section 527 organizations that file Form 990/990-EZ must complete and attach Schedule C and their 990-EZ return.
Below, we have provided Schedule C filing requirements for each part.
Part I-A requires information about the organization's direct and indirect political campaign activities. This part must be completed by organizations exempt under Section 501(c) or a Section 527 organization.
Part I-B focuses on any excise taxes incurred by the organization or its managers due to political campaign activities. This part must be completed by organizations that are exempt under section 501(c)(3).
Complete Part I-C if the organization is exempt under section 501(c), except section 501(c)(3). In this part, enter the amount spent by the organization for section 527 exempt function activities.
Enter the names, addresses, and EINs of all section 527 political organizations to which the nonprofit organization made payments.
Part II-A is exclusively for section 501(c)(3) organizations that have filed Form 5768 (election under section 501(h)) and details their lobbying expenditures.
Part II-B is exclusively for section 501(c)(3) organizations that have not filed Form 5768 (election under section 501(h)) and details their lobbying expenditures.
Part III must be completed by an organization that is exempt under section 501(c)(4), (5), or (6). This part details any proxy tax incurred by the organization for the tax year.
Part IV must be used to provide the narrative information required in Part I-A, line 1, Part I-B, line 4, Part I-C, line 5, Part II-A, line 1 (affiliated group list), Part II-A, lines 1 and 2, and Part II-B, line 1.
The part can also be duplicated by the 990 and 990-EZ filers if more space is needed to provide additional information.
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Political campaign activities include any activities that support or oppose a candidate for public office or ballot measure.
Lobbying activities include any attempts to influence legislation directly or indirectly.