According to The New York Times, the Obama administration has taken a major step toward greater oversight of political activity by 501(c)4 non-profit organizations.
“New rules proposed by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service would clarify both how the I.R.S. defines political activity and how much nonprofits are allowed to spend on it. The proposal covers not just television advertising, but bread-and-butter political work like candidate forums and get-out-the-vote drives.”
“Political spending by tax-exempt groups … skyrocketed to more than $300 million in 2012 from less than $5.2 million in 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”
Although the proposed rules would not prohibit non-profits’ political activity, it would, as a Treasury spokesman explained, be a “first critical step toward creating clear-cut definitions of political activity by tax-exempt social welfare organizations.”