Are Political Contributions Tax Deductible?

If you've donated to a political organization or candidate, you may be wondering: are political contributions tax deductible?
Political Contributions Tax Deductible

After using Anedot:

About the guest:

Many donors ask our service team the same question: Are political contributions tax deductible?

The short answer is no, they are not.

The longer answer is: it depends on what type of organization you have given to.

According to the IRS: “Political parties; campaign committees for candidates for federal, state or local office; and political action committees are all political organizations subject to tax under IRC section 527.”

Political organizations have an employer identification number (EIN) even if they do not have any employees. They file Form SS-4 to receive that EIN number and file periodic reports with a campaign finance or ethics board.

If the candidate or committee is focused on federal race(s), then they will file with the FEC.

State level candidates or committees will file with the state board of elections or ethics.

Local level candidates or committees file with either the state as well, or they file with a local board of elections depending on the rules of the jurisdiction.

How much can I give to a political organization?

How much to give to political organization

Another common question we get is “How much can I give to a political organization?” That also depends on the type of account and jurisdiction.

Most contributions to candidates and committees need to be reported and there’s a limit on how much can be contributed. For example, the FEC contribution limits are outlined by this table. 

While federal limits are consistent across the country, some state and local governments have smaller contribution limits or no limits at all.

The different tax statuses

Different tax statuses for political organizations

Another situation you may run into is when you consider giving to advocacy organizations. Many advocacy organizations have multiple tax entities.

They’re often named by their tax status as 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), and 527 organizations.

501(c)(3) organization

A 501(c)(3) entity is your traditional nonprofit organization where donations to the organization are tax deductible.

501(c)(3)s cannot engage in advocacy, but they can engage in education and awareness. 501(c)(3)s cannot suggest someone to support or oppose an issue specifically.

501(c)(4) organization

A 501(c)(4) entity is a nonprofit organization that’s used for the purpose of “social welfare.” These organizations do not have contribution limits and donors do not need to be disclosed publicly.

Donations to this entity are not tax deductible though. Generally donations to these entities are used for advocacy, but not direct electoral purposes where you’re asking someone to support or oppose an issue.

527 organization

A 527 entity is a political organization. Some political organizations are considered independent expenditure organizations.

This type of organization has been nicknamed a “Super PAC” as they may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to overtly advocate for or against political candidates. These organizations must disclose their donors, just like candidates and other political organizations.

Many times an advocacy organization will have one of each, so it’s important to understand which tax entity you’re donating to in order to know if your contribution will be disclosed and if it’s tax deductible.

It can be overwhelming, but…

Political contributions tax deductible

The political donation laws are fairly overwhelming, especially if you’re simply wanting to support a candidate or issue that you deeply care about. With so many different federal, state, and local election laws it can get confusing quickly.

If you are ever uncertain about an issue and would like more information, please contact an attorney!

80 Community Service Ideas for Nonprofits Guide

80 Community Service Ideas for Nonprofits

Get the rest of the 80 community ideas for nonprofits by downloading our free guide below!
Download Free Guide
→ Increase generosity and giving with Anedot's free online giving for ministries.
→ Increase generosity and giving with Anedot's free online giving for churches.
→ Learn more about Anedot's nonprofit fundraising software!
Discover the Anedot advantage - Demo CTA Horizontal
→ Read testimonials of why 30,000+ organizations and millions of donors love Anedot, or get a demo today!
→ Read testimonials of why 25,000+ organizations and millions of donors love Anedot, or get a demo today!
→ Read testimonials of why 25,000+ organizations and millions of donors love Anedot, or request a consultation call today!
Nonprofit Pulse AdNonprofit Pulse Ad

Show notes:


How to Attract a New Corporate Partner in Less Than 30 Days

Learn how to how to attract a new corporate partner in less than 30 days with a simple 3 step process and an effective email template for outreach.
Watch the Webinar
Recession-proof Your Church Guide Cover
Recession-proof Your Church Guide Cover

How to Listen and Capture Powerful Stories to Grow Your Nonprofit

Learn how to grow your nonprofit in 2024 by listening and capturing more stories of impact.
Watch the Webinar
10 Things You Can Do For Your Ministry Staff

10 Things You Can Do For Your Ministry Staff (When You Can’t Give A Raise)

Download our guide to learn 10 actionable strategies that you can implement to show your team you appreciate them, even when you can't give them a raise.
Download Guide

Church Giving Checklist (Best Practices to Grow Church Giving)

Download our guide to learn the essential strategies and best practices needed to increase giving and generosity in your church.
Download Guide
Church Giving Checklist Guide Cover
Recession-proof Your Church Guide Cover

7 Ways to Recession-proof Your Church

Download our 18-page guide to learn how to prepare your church for a possible recession in 2023 and beyond.
Download Guide

Get updates on Anedot's best content

Drop your email and get tips delivered to your inbox every month!