In addition to annual return requirements, exempt organizations must file certain returns and reports and make certain disclosures. If an attorney or other representative will represent your organization in connection with these filings, see Power of Attorney.

Jeopardizing Exemption

A social welfare organization will jeopardize its exemption under Code section 501(c)(4) if it ceases to operate primarily to further social welfare purposes. Activities that do not further social welfare purposes, and thus may jeopardize an organization's tax-exempt status if they become the organization's primary activities, include:

Employment Taxes

Every employer, including an organization exempt from federal income tax, who pays wages to employees is responsible for withholding, depositing, paying, and reporting federal employment taxes (including federal income tax, social security and Medicare (FICA) taxes, and federal unemployment tax (FUTA)), unless that employer is specifically excepted by law from those requirements or if the taxes clearly do not apply. These taxes generally apply to payment of compensation to employees.


Contributions to social welfare organizations, other than volunteer fire companies, are generally not deductible as charitable contributions.

Getting Help from the IRS

Exempt Organizations (EO) offers specialized assistance to tax-exempt organizations. EO's programs help these customers understand and comply with the tax laws and regulations governing exempt organizations. Please see Help from the IRS for more information.

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