August 21, 2023

The Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives (the Committee) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for information from stakeholders and the public regarding the activities of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations.

The Issue

According to the RFI issued August 14, 2023, there are questions about whether tax-exempt sectors are operating in a manner consistent with the laws and regulations that govern 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations and whether foreign funds are flowing through these organizations to influence American elections.

Respond to the RFI

To gather information that will help Congress better understand and evaluate the activities of 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations, the Committee is asking for the public’s responses to the following questions. Responses should be submitted by email to by September 4, 2023.


  1. Would it be helpful to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue updated guidance on how to define “political campaign intervention” and the extent to which 501(c)(4) organizations can engage in “political campaign intervention” be helpful to 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations? If yes, why?
  2. Does the IRS’s current guidance on the definition of “political campaign intervention” properly account for new forms of political advocacy? If not, what should be included in updated guidance from the IRS to account for forms of political advocacy that are currently not covered?
  3. Are there any tax-exempt organizations whose voter education or registration activities you suspect might have had the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates which would constitute prohibited participation or intervention? If yes, please describes those activities?
  4. Are there changes to Form 990 – which is used by tax-exempt organizations to file their tax returns– that would help clarify how contributions are being used by 501(c) organizations? Especially regarding contributions that are used to fund political activities by 501(c)(4) organizations or nonpartisan voter education activities that 501(c)(3) organizations are allowed to engage in such as voter registration activities, public forums, and publishing voter education guides?
  5. Should Congress consider policy changes to address money from foreign nationals –who are prohibited from contributing directly to political campaigns, candidates, and super PACs—flowing through 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations to influence U.S. elections? If so, what specific policy changes should be considered?
  6. Does the IRS collect information from 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations that would aid the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in enforcing the foreign national prohibition under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA)?
  7. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, IRS examiners “do not review the national origin of sources of donations reported” by tax-exempt organizations on the Form 990, “and do not assess an organization’s compliance with FECA provisions during audits.” Given concerns over foreign influence in our elections, should IRS examiners review the national origin of sources of donations reported by a tax-exempt organization on the agency’s IRS Form 990-series?
  8. Are there additional disclosures by 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations engaged in “political campaign intervention” that would help prevent illegal contributions made by foreign nationals to influence U.S. elections?
  9. Are you aware of organizations under Section 501(c) that are tax-exempt but have the true purpose of influencing elections in favor of one political party? If so, please provide a description of how such organizations achieve that goal.
  10. Are you aware of organizations under Section 501(c) that are tax-exempt but have misused donor funds for the personal benefit of organization executives or have misused donor funds outside the stated purpose of the donor? If so, please provide a description of those organizations and the relevant conduct.

Read the RFI

The full RFI is available at For questions, please contact us.

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