Keeping Track: A Guide to Recordkeeping for Advocacy Charities
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This publication is designed to help public charities comply with federal tax law by tracking their lobbying activities. The guide includes sample forms and describes multiple options for tracking staff time, overhead expenses, and direct costs.
This guide was developed to help 501(c)(3) organizations that engage in lobbying. While onerous at times, good recordkeeping helps organizations participate in the legislative process without fearing punitive action by the IRS.
Besides keeping the IRS at bay, recordkeeping produces other benefits, as “Keeping Track” explains:
• Recordkeeping helps organizations raise funds.
• Recordkeeping is good protection against false accusations.
• Recordkeeping is a good management tool.
Nonprofit organizations who have made the 501(h) election – meaning they will measure lobbying based on the money they spend – will find the manual most useful. Not sure whether to choose the 501(h) expenditure test or instead the more subjective “insubstantial part” test for measuring lobbying activities? “Keeping Track” discusses the pros and cons.
In addition to the “Top 5 Lobbying Tips” from national experts, the guide includes sample forms and gives options for tracking staff time, overhead expenses, and direct costs.