Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Form 990 Schedule C: Mastering Complex Reporting of Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities

Avoiding Excise Taxes, Penalties, Fines, and Revocation of Tax-Exempt Status Due to Noncompliance

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CPE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford CPE+ Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This course will provide nonprofit advisers with a comprehensive guide to reporting on political campaign and lobbying activities on Schedule C of the Form 990 Exempt Organization Information Return. The panel will offer a practical part-by-part exploration of completing the schedule, focusing on identification and valuation of political and lobbying activities that must be separately reported. Because the majority of exempt organizations are classified under Section 501(c)(3), this webinar will focus on the requirements that pertain to charitable organizations.


Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities is required for exempt organizations that engage in political and lobbying activities. In practice, it can be challenging to discern how an organization should report to the IRS.

Depending on the filing organization’s exempt status, information reported on Form 990 Schedule C may include, among other things, a description of such activities, the amounts paid to Section 527 political organizations (if applicable), and a calculation of the organization’s lobbying limit and expenditures. Errors in tracking or reporting political and lobbying activities can result in excise taxes, penalties, fines and in some cases revocation of tax-exempt status.

Further complicating matters is that the IRS instructions do not always provide clear guidance on how to report certain items. The combination of limited guidance and the complexity of the reporting requirements present a particular challenge to nonprofit advisers.

Listen as our experienced panel provides detailed guidance on completing Form 990 Schedule C, with concrete examples of completed forms and schedules.



  1. Reporting political activities and lobbying on Form 990 Schedule C (three parts)
    1. Overview of Schedule C
    2. Political campaign activities overview
  2. Lobbying activities overview
    1. Substantial part test
    2. Expenditure test
  3. Form 990 Schedule C
    1. Form 990, Part IV, Lines 3-4: trigger questions
    2. Sch. C Part I: Political Campaign Activities
    3. Sch. C Part II: Lobbying Activities
    4. Part III: Proxy Tax (501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations only)


The panel will discuss these and other important topics:

  • How to identify which political and lobbying activities cross the line
  • Understanding the political campaign activity scenarios provided by the IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41
  • Understanding differences between direct lobbying and grassroots lobbying
  • Learn by example, reporting of Form 990, Schedule C in three parts


Deborah Kaminski
Deborah Kaminski

Director of Tax Exempt Organizations
DZH Phillips

Ms. Kaminski has spent 20 years in the nonprofit taxation and trust industry. She specializes in taxation of...  |  Read More

Gorovitz, Eric
Eric K. Gorovitz

Adler & Colvin

Mr. Gorovitz's practice spans the full range of nonprofit and tax-exempt legal issues, with emphasis on political...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

CPE credit is not available on downloads.