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IRS Outlines Revised Filing Requirements for 527 Political Organizations

IR-2002-123, Nov. 21, 2002

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today outlined new reporting requirements that exempt many state and local political organizations from filing certain forms.

A new law changes filing requirements for many political organizations that have tax- exempt status under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code. It also makes the changes retroactive to July 1, 2000, when the reporting requirements became mandatory.

“The new provisions eliminate the need for many political organizations to file certain federal tax reports and returns. We hope this will provide greater clarity for 527 organizations,” said Steven T. Miller, Director of IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division.

The new law:

  • Exempts state and local candidate and party committees from filing Form 8871 and Form 990 (or 990‑EZ);
  • Exempts qualified state and local political organizations (QSLPOs) from filing Form 8872;
  • Exempts political committees filing with the FEC from filing Form 990 (or 990-EZ);
  • Exempts political organizations that are a caucus or association of state or local officials from filing Form 990 (or 990‑EZ);
  • Requires additional information on Form 8871 and Form 8872;
  • Requires the filing of an amended Form 8871 after material changes to maintain tax‑exempt status;
  • Increases reporting thresholds for certain Form 990 filers;
  • Eliminates the requirement to file Form 1120-POL except where an organization has taxable income after taking the $100 specific deduction (returning to pre-July 2000 requirements);
  • Reinstates the pre-July 2000 confidentiality requirement for any Form 1120-POL filed after November 2, 2002; and
  • Changes the electronic filing requirements by
    • Requiring that Form 8871 be filed electronically (as opposed to both in writing and electronically); and
    • Requiring that any Form 8872 due after June 30, 2003, be filed electronically if the filing organization has or expects to have contributions or expenditures of more than $50,000 during the calendar year.

A more complete description of filing requirements for political organizations can be found in FS-2002-13. Political organizations can call the IRS Tax Exempt Customer Account Service toll-free number at 1-877-829-5500. Assistance is available 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012