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Title 26 Part 56

Title 26 → Chapter I → Subchapter D → Part 56

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 26 Part 56

e-CFR data is current as of October 18, 2019

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter D → Part 56


Title 26: Internal Revenue


PART 56—PUBLIC CHARITY EXCISE TAXES


Contents
§56.4911-0   Outline of regulations under section 4911.
§56.4911-1   Tax on excess lobbying expenditures.
§56.4911-2   Lobbying expenditures, direct lobbying communications, and grass roots lobbying communications.
§56.4911-3   Expenditures for direct and/or grass roots lobbying communications.
§56.4911-4   Exempt purpose expenditures.
§56.4911-5   Communications with members.
§56.4911-6   Records of lobbying and grass roots expenditures.
§56.4911-7   Affiliated group of organizations.
§56.4911-8   Excess lobbying expenditures of affiliated group.
§56.4911-9   Application of section 501(h) to affiliated groups of organizations.
§56.4911-10   Members of a limited affiliated group of organizations.
§56.6001-1   Notice or regulations requiring records, statements, and special returns.
§56.6011-1   General requirement of return, statement, or list.
§56.6011-4   Requirement of statement disclosing participation in certain transactions by taxpayers.
§56.6060-1   Reporting requirements for tax return preparers.
§56.6107-1   Tax return preparer must furnish copy of return and claim for refund to taxpayer and must retain a copy or record.
§56.6109-1   Tax return preparers furnishing identifying numbers for returns or claims for refund.
§56.6694-1   Section 6694 penalties applicable to tax return preparer.
§56.6694-2   Penalties for understatement due to an unreasonable position.
§56.6694-3   Penalty for understatement due to willful, reckless, or intentional conduct.
§56.6694-4   Extension of period of collection when tax return preparer pays 15 percent of a penalty for understatement of taxpayer's liability and certain other procedural matters.
§56.6695-1   Other assessable penalties with respect to the preparation of tax returns or claims for refund for other persons.
§56.6696-1   Claims for credit or refund by tax return preparers.
§56.7701-1   Tax return preparer.

Authority: 26 U.S.C. 7805.

Section 56.4911-7 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 4911(f)(3);

Section 56.6060-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6060(a);

Section 56.6109-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6109(a);

Section 56.6109-2 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6109(a);

Section 56.6695-1 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 6695(b).

Source: T.D. 8308, 55 FR 35598, Aug. 31, 1990, unless otherwise noted.

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§56.4911-0   Outline of regulations under section 4911.

Immediately following is an outline of the regulations under section 4911 of the Internal Revenue Code relating to an excise tax on electing public charities' excess lobbying expenditures.

§56.4911-0   Outline of regulations under section 4911.

§56.4911-1   Tax on excess lobbying expenditures.

(a) In general.

(b) Excess lobbying expenditures.

(c) Nontaxable amounts.

(1) Lobbying nontaxable amount.

(2) Grass roots nontaxable amount.

(d) Examples.

§56.4911-2   Lobbying expenditures, direct lobbying communications, and grass roots lobbying communications.

(a) Lobbying expenditures.

(1) In general.

(2) Overview of §56.4911 and the definitions of “direct lobbying communication” and “grass roots lobbying communication”.

(b) Influencing legislation: direct and grass roots lobbying communications defined.

(1) Direct lobbying communication.

(2) Grass roots lobbying communication.

(3) Exceptions to the definition of influencing legislation.

(4) Examples.

(5) Special rule for certain mass media advertisements.

(c) Exceptions to the definitions of direct lobbying communication and grass roots lobbying communication.

(1) Nonpartisan analysis, study, or research exception.

(2) Examinations and discussions of broad social, economic, and similar problems.

(3) Requests for technical advice.

(4) Communications pertaining to “self-defense” by the organization.

(d) Definitions.

(1) Legislation.

(2) Action.

(3) Legislative body.

(4) Administrative bodies.

§56.4911-3   Expenditures for direct and/or grass roots lobbying communications.

(a) Definition of term “expenditures for”.

(1) In general.

(2) Allocation of mixed purpose expenditures.

(3) Allocation of mixed lobbying.

(b) Examples.

(c) Certain transfers treated as lobbying expenditures.

(1) Transfer earmarked for grass roots purposes.

(2) Transfer earmarked for direct and grass roots lobbying.

(3) Certain transfers to noncharities that lobby.

§56.4911-4   Exempt purpose expenditures.

(a) Application.

(b) Included expenditures.

(c) Excluded expenditures.

(d) Certain transfers treated as exempt purpose expenditures.

(e) Transfers not exempt purpose expenditures.

(f) Definitions.

(g) Example.

§56.4911-5   Communications with members.

(a) In general.

(b) Communications (directed only to members) that are not lobbying communications.

(c) Communications (directed only to members) that are direct lobbying communications.

(d) Communications (directed only to members) that are grass roots lobbying communications.

(e) Written communications directed to members and nonmembers.

(1) In general.

(2) Direct lobbying directly encouraged.

(3) Grass roots expenditure if grass roots lobbying directly encouraged.

(4) No direct encouragement of direct lobbying or of grass roots lobbying.

(f) Definitions and special rules.

(1) Member; general rule.

(2) Member; special rule.

(3) Member; affiliated group of organizations.

(4) Member; limited affiliated group of organizations.

(5) Subscriber.

(6) Directly encourages.

(7) Percentages of total distribution.

(8) Reasonable allocation rule.

§56.4911-6   Records of lobbying and grass roots expenditures.

(a) Records of lobbying expenditures.

(b) Records of grass roots expenditures.

§56.4911-7   Affiliated group of organizations.

(a) Affiliation between two organizations.

(1) In general.

(2) Organizations not described in section 501(c)(3).

(3) Action on legislative issues.

(b) Interlocking governing boards.

(1) In general.

(2) Majority or quorum.

(3) Votes required under governing instrument or local law.

(4) Representatives constituting less than 15% of governing board.

(5) Representatives.

(c) Governing instrument.

(d) Three or more organizations affiliated.

(1) Two controlled organizations affiliated.

(2) Chain rule.

(e) Affiliated group of organizations.

(1) Defined.

(2) Multiple membership.

(3) Taxable year of affiliated group.

(4) Electing member organization.

(5) Election of member's year as group's taxable year.

(f) Examples.

§56.4911-8   Excess lobbying expenditures of affiliated group.

(a) Application.

(b) Affiliated group treated as one organization.

(c) Tax imposed on excess lobbying expenditures of affiliated group.

(d) Liability for tax.

(1) Electing organizations.

(2) Tax based on excess lobbying expenditures.

(3) Tax based on excess grass roots expenditures.

(4) Tax based on exempt purpose expenditures.

(5) Taxable year for which liable.

(6) Organization a member of more than one affiliated group.

(e) Former member organizations.

§56.4911-9   Application of section 501(h) to affiliated groups of organizations.

(a) Scope.

(b) Determination required.

(c) Member organizations that are not electing organizations.

(d) Filing of information relating to affiliated group of organizations.

(1) Scope.

(2) In general.

(3) Additional information required.

(4) Information required of electing member organization.

(e) Example.

(f) Cross reference.

§56.4911-10   Members of a limited affiliated group of organizations.

(a) Scope.

(b) Members of limited affiliated group.

(c) Controlling and controlled organizations.

(d) Expenditures of controlling organization.

(1) Scope.

(2) Expenditures for direct lobbying.

(3) Grass roots expenditures.

(4) Exempt purpose expenditures.

(e) Expenditures of controlled member.

(f) Reports of members of limited affiliated groups.

(1) Controlling member organization's additional information on annual return.

(2) Reports of controlling members to other members.

(3) Reports of controlled member organizations.

(g) National legislative issues.

(h) Examples.

§56.6001-1   Notice or regulations requiring records, statements, and special returns.

(a) In general.

(b) Cross references.

§56.6011-1   General requirement of return, statement, or list.

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§56.4911-1   Tax on excess lobbying expenditures.

(a) In general. Section 4911(a) imposes an excise tax of 25 percent on the excess lobbying expenditures (as defined in paragraph (b) of this section) for a taxable year of an organization for which the expenditure test election under section 501(h) is in effect (an “electing public charity”). An electing public charity's annual limit on expenditures for influencing legislation (i.e., the amount of lobbying expenditures on which no tax is due) is the lobbying nontaxable amount or, on expenditures for influencing legislation through grass roots lobbying, the grass roots nontaxable amount (see paragraph (c) of this section). For rules concerning the application of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) to the members of an affiliated group of organizations (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)), see §56.4911-8.

(b) Excess lobbying expenditures. For any taxable year for which the expenditure test election under section 501(h) is in effect, the amount of an electing public charity's excess lobbying expenditures is the greater of—

(1) The amount by which the organization's lobbying expenditures (within the meaning of §56.4911-2(a)) exceed the organization's lobbying nontaxable amount, or

(2) The amount by which the organization's grass roots expenditures (within the meaning of §§56.4911-2(a)) exceed the organization's grass roots nontaxable amount.

(c) Nontaxable amounts—(1) Lobbying nontaxable amount. Under section 4911(c)(2), the lobbying nontaxable amount for any taxable year for which the expenditure test election is in effect is the lesser of—

(i) $1,000,000, or

(ii) To the extent of the electing public charity's exempt purpose expenditures (within the meaning of §56.4911-4) for that year, the sum of 20 percent of the first $500,000 of such expenditures, plus 15 percent of the second $500,000 of such expenditures, plus 10 percent of the third $500,000 of such expenditures, plus 5 percent of the remainder of such expenditures.

(2) Grass roots nontaxable amount. Under section 4911(c)(4), an electing public charity's grass roots nontaxable amount for any taxable year is 25 percent of its lobbying nontaxable amount for that year.

(d) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the examples in §1.501(h)-3.

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§56.4911-2   Lobbying expenditures, direct lobbying communications, and grass roots lobbying communications.

(a) Lobbying expenditures—(1) In general. An electing public charity's lobbying expenditures for a year are the sum of its expenditures during that year for direct lobbying communications (“direct lobbying expenditures”) plus its expenditures during that year for grass roots lobbying communications (“grass roots expenditures”).

(2) Overview of §56.4911-2 and the definitions of “direct lobbying communication” and “grass roots lobbying communication”. Paragraph (b)(1) of this section defines the term “direct lobbying communication.” Paragraph (b)(2) of this section provides the general definition of the term “grass roots lobbying communication.” (But also see paragraph (b)(5) of this section (special rebuttable presumption regarding certain paid mass media communications) and §56.4911-5 (special, more lenient, definitions for certain communications from an electing public charity to its bona fide members)). Paragraph (b)(3) of this section lists and cross-references various exceptions to the definitions set forth in paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) (the text of the exceptions, along with relevant definitions and examples, is generally set forth in paragraph (c)). Paragraph (b)(4) of this section contains numerous examples illustrating the application of paragraphs (b) (1), (2) and (3). As mentioned above, paragraph (b)(5) of this section sets forth the special rebuttable presumption regarding a limited number of paid mass media communications about highly publicized legislation. Paragraph (d) of this section contains definitions of (and examples illustrating) various terms used in this section.

(b) Influencing legislation: direct and grass roots lobbying communications defined—(1) Direct lobbying communication—(i) Definition. A direct lobbying communication is any attempt to influence any legislation through communication with:

(A) Any member or employee of a legislative body; or

(B) Any government official or employee (other than a member or employee of a legislative body) who may participate in the formulation of the legislation, but only if the principal purpose of the communication is to influence legislation.

(ii) Required elements. A communication with a legislator or government official will be treated as a direct lobbying communication under this §56.4911-2(b)(1) if, but only if, the communication:

(A) Refers to specific legislation (see paragraph (d)(1) of this section for a definition of the term “specific legislation”); and

(B) Reflects a view on such legislation.

(iii) Special rule for referenda, ballot initiatives or similar procedures. Solely for purposes of this section 4911, where a communication refers to and reflects a view on a measure that is the subject of a referendum, ballot initiative or similar procedure, the general public in the State or locality where the vote will take place constitutes the legislative body, and individual members of the general public area, for purposes of this paragraph (b)(1), legislators. Accordingly, if such a communication is made to one or more members of the general public in that state or locality, the communication is a direct lobbying communication (unless it is nonpartisan analysis, study or research (see paragraph (c)(1) of this section).

(2) Grass roots lobbying communication—(i) Definition. A grass roots lobbying communication is any attempt to influence any legislation through an attempt to affect the opinions of the general public or any segment thereof.

(ii) Required elements. A communication will be treated as a grass roots lobbying communication under this §56.4911-2(b)(2)(ii) if, but only if, the communication:

(A) Refers to specific legislation (see paragraph (d)(1) of this section for a definition of the term “specific legislation”);

(B) Reflects a view on such legislation; and

(C) Encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to such legislation (see paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section for the definition of encouraging the recipient to take action.

For special, more lenient rules regarding an organization's communications directed only or primarily to bona fide members of the organization, see §56.4911-5. For special rules regarding certain paid mass media advertisements about highly publicized legislation, see paragraph (b)(5) of this section. For special rules regarding lobbying on referenda, ballot initiatives and similar procedures, see paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section).

(iii) Definition of encouraging recipient to take action. For purposes of this section, encouraging a recipient to take action with respect to legislation means that the communication:

(A) States that the recipient should contact a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or should contact any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation (but only if the principal purpose of urging contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation);

(B) States the address, telephone number, or similar information of a legislator or an employee of a legislative body;

(C) Provides a petition, tear-off postcard or similar material for the recipient to communicate with a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or with any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation (but only if the principal purpose of so facilitating contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation); or

(D) Specifically identifies one or more legislators who will vote on the legislation as: opposing the communication's view with respect to the legislation; being undecided with respect to the legislation; being the recipient's representative in the legislature; or being a member of the legislative committee or subcommittee that will consider the legislation. Encouraging the recipient to take action under this paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(D) does not include naming the main sponsor(s) of the legislation for purposes of identifying the legislation.

(iv) Definition of directly encouraging recipient to take action. Communications described in one or more of paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) through (C) of this section not only “encourage,” but also “directly encourage” the recipient to take action with respect to legislation. Communications described in paragraph (b)(2)(iii)(D) of this section, however, do not directly encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation. Thus, a communication would encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation, but not directly encourage such action, if the communication does no more than identify one or more legislators who will vote on the legislation as: opposing the communication's view with respect to the legislation; being undecided with respect to the legislation; being the recipient's representative in the legislature; or being a member of the legislative committee or subcommittee that will consider the legislation. Communications that encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation but that do not directly encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation may be within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research (se paragraph (c)(1) of this section) and thus not be grass roots lobbying communications.

(v) Subsequent lobbying use of nonlobbying communications or research materials—(A) Limited effect of application. Even though certain communications or research materials are initially not grass roots lobbying communications under the general definition set forth in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, subsequent use of the communications or research materials for grass roots lobbying may cause them to be treated as grass roots lobbying communications. This paragraph (b)(2)(v) does not cause any communications or research materials to be considered direct lobbying communications.

(B) Limited scope of application. Under this paragraph (b)(2)(v), only “advocacy communications or research materials” are potentially treated as grass roots lobbying communications. Communications or research materials that are not “advocacy communications or research materials” are not treated as grass roots lobbying communications under this paragraph (b)(2)(v). “Advocacy communications or research materials” are any communications or materials that both refer to and reflect a view on specific legislation but that do not, in their initial format, contain a direct encouragement for recipients to take action with respect to legislation.

(C) Subsequent use in lobbying. Where advocacy communications or research materials are subsequently accompanied by a direct encouragement for recipients to take action with respect to legislation, the advocacy communications or research materials themselves are treated as grass roots lobbying communications unless the organization's primary purpose in undertaking or preparing the advocacy communications or research materials was not for use in lobbying. In such a case, all expenses of preparing and distributing the advocacy communications or research materials will be treated as grass roots expenditures.

(D) Time limit on application of subsequent use rule. The characterization of expenditures as grass roots lobbying expenditures under paragraph (b)(2)(v)(C) shall apply only to expenditures paid less than six months before the first use of the advocacy communications or research materials with a direct encouragement to action.

(E) Safe harbor in determining “primary purpose”. The primary purpose of the organization in undertaking or preparing advocacy communications or research materials will not be considered to be for use in lobbying if, prior to or contemporaneously with the use of the advocacy communications or research materials with the direct encouragement to action, the organization makes a substantial nonlobbying distribution of the advocacy communications or research materials (without the direct encouragement to action). Whether a distribution is substantial will be determined by reference to all of the facts and circumstances, including the normal distribution pattern of similar nonpartisan analyses, studies or research by that and similar organizations.

(F) Special rule for partisan analysis, study or research. In the case of advocacy communications or research materials that are not nonpartisan analysis, study or research, the nonlobbying distribution thereof will not be considered “substantial” unless that distribution is at least as extensive as the lobbying distribution thereof.

(G) Factors considered in determining primary purpose. Where the nonlobbying distribution of advocacy communications or research materials is not substantial, all of the facts and circumstances must be weighed to determine whether the organization's primary purpose in preparing the advocacy communications or research materials was for use in lobbying. While not the only factor, the extent of the organization's nonlobbying distribution of the advocacy communications or research materials is particularly relevant, especially when compared to the extent of their distribution with the direct encouragement to action. Another particularly relevant factor is whether the lobbying use of the advocacy communications or research materials is by the organization that prepared the document, a related organization, or an unrelated organization. Where the subsequent lobbying distribution is made by an unrelated organization, clear and convincing evidence (which must include evidence demonstrating cooperation or collusion between the two organizations) will be required to establish that the primary purpose for preparing the communication for use in lobbying.

(H) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (b)(2)(v) are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. Assume a nonlobbying “report” (that is not nonpartisan analysis, study or research) is prepared by an organization, but distributed to only 50 people. The report, in that format, refers to and reflects a view on specific legislation but does not contain a direct encouragement for the recipients to take action with respect to legislation. Two months later, the organization sends the report to 10,000 people along with a letter urging recipients to write their Senators about the legislation discussed in the report. Because the report's nonlobbying distribution is not as extensive as its lobbying distribution, the report's nonlobbying distribution is not substantial for purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(v). Accordingly, the organization's primary purpose in preparing the report must be determined by weighing all of the facts and circumstances. In light of the relatively minimal nonlobbying distribution and the fact that the lobbying distribution is by the preparing organization rather than by an unrelated organization, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, both the report and the letter are grass roots lobbying communications. Assume that all costs of preparing the report were paid within the six months preceding the mailing of the letter. Accordingly, all of the organization's expenditures for preparing and mailing the two documents are grass roots lobbying expenditures.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the costs of the report are paid over the two month period of January and February. Between January 1 and 31, the organization pays $1,000 for the report. In February, the organization pays $500 for the report. Further assume that the report is first used with a direct encouragement to action on August 1. Six months prior to August 1 is February 1. Accordingly, no costs paid for the report before February 1 are treated as grass roots lobbying expenditures under the subsequent use rule. Under these facts, the subsequent use rule treats only the $500 paid for the report in February as grass roots lobbying expenditures.

(3) Exceptions to the definition of influencing legislation. In many cases, a communication is not a direct or grass roots lobbying communication under paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section if it falls within one of the exceptions listed in paragraph (c) of this section. See paragraph (c)(1), Nonpartisan analysis, study or research; paragraph (c)(2), Examinations and discussions of broad social, economic and similar problems; paragraph (c)(3), Requests for technical advice; and paragraph (c)(4), Communications pertaining to self-defense by the organization. In addition, see §56.4911-5, which provides special rules regarding the treatment of certain lobbying communications directed in whole or in part to members of an electing public charity.

(4) Examples. This paragraph (b)(4) provides examples to illustrate the rules set forth in the section regarding direct and grass roots lobbying. The expenditure test election under section 501(h) is assumed to be in effect for all organizations discussed in the examples in this paragraph (b)(4). In addition, it is assumed that the special rules of §56.4911-5, regarding certain of a public charity's communications with its members, do not apply to any of the examples in this paragraph (b)(4).

(i) Direct lobbying. The provisions of this section regarding direct lobbying communications are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. Organization P's employee, X, is assigned to approach members of Congress to gain their support for a pending bill. X drafts and P prints a position letter on the bill. P distributes the letter to members of Congress. Additionally, X personally contacts several members of Congress or their staffs to seek support for P's position on the bill. The letter and the personal contacts are direct lobbying communications.

Example 2. Organization M's president writes a letter to the Congresswoman representing the district in which M is headquartered, requesting that the Congresswoman write an administrative agency regarding proposed regulations recently published by that agency. M's president also requests that the Congresswoman's letter to the agency state the Congresswoman's support of M's application for a particular type of permit granted by the agency. The letter written by M's president is not a direct lobbying communication.

Example 3. Organization Z prepares a paper on a particular state's environmental problems. The paper does not reflect a view on any specific pending legislation or on any specific legislative proposal that Z either supports or opposes. Z's representatives give the paper to a state legislator. Z's paper is not a direct lobbying communication.

Example 4. State X enacts a statute that requires the licensing of all day care providers. Agency B in State X is charged with preparing rules to implement the bill enacted by State X. One week after enactment of the bill, organization C sends a letter to Agency B providing detailed proposed rules that organization C suggests to Agency B as the appropriate standards to follow in implementing the statute on licensing of day care providers. Organization C's letter to Agency B is not a lobbying communication.

Example 5. Organization B researches, prepares and prints a code of standards of minimum safety requirements in an area of common electrical wiring. Organization B sells the code of standards booklet to the public and its is widely used by professional in the installation of electrical wiring. A number of states have codified all, or part, of the code of standards as mandatory safety standards. On occasion, B lobbies state legislators for passage of the code of standards for safety reasons. Because the primary purpose of preparing the code of standards was the promotion of public safety and the standards were specifically used in a profession for that purpose, separate from any legislative requirement, the research, preparation, printing and public distribution of the code of standards is not an expenditure for a direct (or grass roots) lobbying communication. Costs, such as transportation, photocopying, and other similar expenses, incurred in lobbying state legislators for passage of the code of standards into law are expenditures for direct lobbying communications.

Example 6. On the organization's own initiative, representatives of Organization F present written testimony to a Congressional committee. The news media report on the testimony of Organization F, detailing F's opposition to a pending bill. The testimony is a direct lobbying communication but is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 7. Organization R's monthly newsletter contains an editorial column that refers to and reflects a view on specific pending bills. R sends the newsletter to 10,000 nonmember subscribers. Senator Doe is among the subscribers. The editorial column in the newsletter copy sent to Senator Doe is not a direct lobbying communication because the newsletter is sent to Senator Doe in her capacity as a subscriber rather than her capacity as a legislator. (Note, though, that the editorial column may be a grass roots lobbying communication if it encourages recipients to take action with respect to the pending bills it refers to and on which it reflects a view).

Example 8. Assume the same facts as in Example (7), except that one of Senator Doe's staff members sees Senator Doe's copy of the editorial and writes to R requesting additional information. R responds with a letter that refers to and reflects a view on specific legislation. R's letter is a direct lobbying communication unless it is within one of the exceptions set forth in paragraph (c) of this section (such as the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research). (R's letter is not within the scope of the exception for responses to written requests from a legislative body or committee for technical advice (see paragraph (c)(3) of this section) because the letter is not in response to a written request from a legislative body or committee).

(ii) Grass roots lobbying. The provisions of this section regarding grass roots lobbying communications are illustrated in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(A) of this section by examples of communications that are not grass roots lobbying communications and in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(B) by examples of communications that are grass roots lobbying communications. The provisions of this section are further illustrated in paragraph (b)(4)(ii)(C), with particular regard to the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research:

(A) Communications that are not grass roots lobbying communications.

Example 1. Organization L places in its newsletter an article that asserts that lack of new capital is hurting State W's economy. The article recommends that State W residents either invest more in local businesses or increase their savings so that funds will be available to others interested in making investments. The article is an attempt to influence opinions with respect to a general problem that might receive legislative attention and is distributed in a manner so as to reach and influence many individuals. However, the article does not refer to specific legislation that is pending in a legislative body, nor does the article refer to a specific legislative proposal the organization either supports or opposes. The article is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as Example (1), except that the article refers to a bill pending in State W's legislature that is intended to provide tax incentives for private savings. The article praises the pending bill and recommends that it be enacted. However, the article does not encourage readers to take action with respect to the legislation. The article is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 3. Organization B sends a letter to all persons on its mailing list. The letter includes an update on numerous environmental issues with a discussion of general concerns regarding pollution, proposed federal regulations affecting the area, and several pending legislative proposals. The letter endorses two pending bills and opposes another pending bill, but does not name any legislator involved (other than the sponsor of one bill, for purposes of identifying the bill), nor does it otherwise encourage the reader to take action with respect to the legislation. The letter is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 4. A pamphlet distributed by organization Z discusses the dangers of drugs and encourages the public to send their legislators a coupon, printed with the statement “I support a drug-free America.” The term “drug-free America” is not widely identified with any of the many specific pending legislative proposals regarding drug issues. The pamphlet does not refer to any of the numerous pending legislative proposals, nor does the organization support or oppose a specific legislative proposal. The pamphlet is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 5. A pamphlet distributed by organization B encourages readers to join an organization and “get involved in the fight against drugs.” The text states, in the course of a discussion of several current drug issues, that organization B supports a specific bill before Congress that would establish an expanded drug control program. The pamphlet does not encourage readers to communicate with legislators about the bill (such as by including the names of undecided or opposed legislators). The pamphlet is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 6. Organization E, an environmental organization, routinely summarizes in each edition of its newsletter the new environment-related bills that have been introduced in Congress since the last edition of the newsletter. The newsletter identifies each bill by a bill number and the name of the legislation's sponsor. The newsletter also reports on the status of previously introduced environment-related bills. The summaries and status reports do not encourage recipients of the newsletter to take action with respect to legislation, as described in paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) through (D) of this section. Although the summaries and status reports refer to specific legislation and often reflect a view on such legislation, they do not encourage the newsletter recipients to take action with respect to such legislation. The summaries and status reports are not grass roots lobbying communications.

Example 7. Organization B prints in its newsletter a report on pending legislation that B supports, the Family Equity bill. The report refers to and reflects a view on the Family Equity bill, but does not directly encourage recipients to take action. Nor does the report specifically identify any legislator as opposing the communication's view on the legislation, as being undecided, or as being a member of the legislative committee or subcommittee that will consider the legislation. However, the report does state the following:

Rep. Doe (D-Ky.) and Rep. Roe (R-Ma.), both ardent supporters of the Family Equity bill, spoke at B's annual convention last week. Both encouraged B's efforts to get the Family Equity bill enacted and stated that they thought the bill could be enacted even over a presidential veto. B's legislative affairs liaison questioned others, who seemed to agree with that assessment. For example, Sen. Roe (I-Ca.) said that he thinks the bill will pass with such a large majority, “the President won't even consider vetoing it.”

Assume the newsletter, and thus the report, is sent to individuals throughout the U.S., including some recipients in Kentucky, Massachusetts and California. Because the report is distributed nationally, the mere fact that the report identifies several legislators by party and state as part of its discussion does not mean the report specifically identifies the named legislators as the Kentucky, Massachusetts and California recipients' representatives in the legislature for purposes of paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section. The report is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

(B) Communications that are grass roots lobbying communications.

Example 1. A pamphlet distributed by organization Y states that the “President's plan for a drug-free America,” which will establish a drug control program, should be passed. The pamphlet encourages readers to “write or call your senators and representatives and tell them to vote for the President's plan.” No legislative proposal formally bears the name “President's plan for a drug-free America,” but that and similar terms have been widely used in connection with specific legislation pending in Congress that was initially proposed by the President. Thus, the pamphlet refers to specific legislation, reflects a view on the legislation, and encourages readers to take action with respect to the legislation. The pamphlet is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the pamphlet does not encourage the public to write or call representatives, but does list the members of the committee that will consider the bill. The pamphlet is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 3. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the pamphlet encourages readers to “write the President to urge him to make the bill a top legislative priority” rather than encouraging readers to communicate with members of Congress. The pamphlet is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 4. Organization B, a nonmembership organization, includes in one of three sections of its newsletter an endorsement of two pending bills and opposition to another pending bill and also identifies several legislators as undecided on the three bills. The section of the newsletter devoted to the three pending bills is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 5. Organization D, a nonmembership organization, sends a letter to all persons on its mailing list. The letter includes an extensive discussion concluding that a significant increase in spending for the Air Force is essential in order to provide an adequate defense of the nation. Prior to a concluding fundraising request, the letter encourages readers to write their Congressional representatives urging increased appropriations to build the B-1 bomber. The letter is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 6. The President nominates X for a position in the President's cabinet. Organization Y disagrees with the views of X and does not believe X has the necessary administrative capabilities to effectively run a cabinet-level department. Accordingly, Y sends a general mailing requesting recipients to write to four Senators on the Senate Committee that will consider the nomination. The mailing is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 7. Organization F mails letters requesting that each recipient contribute money to or join F. In addition, the letters express F's opposition to a pending bill that is to be voted upon by the U.S. House of Representatives. Although the letters are form letters sent as a mass mailing, each letter is individualized to report to the recipient the name of the recipient's congressional representative. The letters are grass roots lobbying communications.

Example 8. Organization C sends a mailing that opposes a specific legislative proposal and includes a postcard addressed to the President for the recipient to sign stating opposition to the proposal. The letter requests that the recipient send to C a contribution as well as the postcard opposing the proposal. C states in the letter that it will deliver all the postcards to the White House. The letter is a grass roots lobbying communication.

(C) Additional examples.

Example 1. The newsletter of an organization concerned with drug issues is circulated primarily to individuals who are not members of the organization. A story in the newsletter reports on the prospects for passage of a specifically identified bill, stating that the organization supports the bill. The newsletter story identifies certain legislators as undecided, but does not state that readers should contact the undecided legislators. The story does not provide a full and fair exposition sufficient to qualify as nonpartisan analysis, study or research. The newsletter story is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the newsletter story provides a full and fair exposition sufficient to qualify as nonpartisan analysis, study or research. The newsletter story is not a grass roots lobbying communication because it is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research (since it does not directly encourage recipients to take action).

Example 3. Assume the same facts as in Example (2), except that the newsletter story explicitly asks readers to contact the undecided legislators. Because the newsletter story directly encourages readers to take action with respect to the legislation, the newsletter story is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research. Accordingly, the newsletter story is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 4. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the story does not identify any undecided legislators. The story is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 5. X organization places an advertisement that specifically identifies and opposes a bill that X asserts would harm the farm economy. The advertisement is not a mass media communication described in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section and does not directly encourage readers to take action with respect to the bill. However, the advertisement does state that Senator Y favors the legislation. Because the advertisement refers to and reflects a view on specific legislation, and also encourages the readers to take action with respect to the legislation by specifically identifying a legislator who opposes X's views on the legislation, the advertisement is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 6. Assume the same facts as in Example (5), except that instead of identifying Senator Y as favoring the legislation, the advertisement identifies the “junior Senator from State Z” as favoring the legislation. The advertisement is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 7. Assume the same facts as in Example (5), except that instead of identifying Senator Y as favoring the legislation, the advertisement states: “Even though this bill will have a devastating effect upon the farm economy, most of the Senators from the Farm Belt states are inexplicably in favor of the bill.” The advertisement does not specifically identify one or more legislators as opposing the advertisement's view on the bill in question. Accordingly, the advertisement is not a grass roots lobbying communication because it does not encourage readers to take action with respect to the legislation.

Example 8. Organization V trains volunteers to go door-to-door to seek signatures for petitions to be sent to legislators in favor of a specific bill. The volunteers are wholly unreimbursed for their time and expenses. The volunteers' costs (to the extent any are incurred) are not lobbying or exempt purpose expenditures made by V (but the volunteers may not deduct their out-of-pocket expenditures (see section 170(f)(6)). When V asks the volunteers to contact others and urge them to sign the petitions, V encourages those volunteers to take action in favor of the specific bill. Accordingly, V's costs of soliciting the volunteers' help and its costs of training the volunteers are grass roots expenditures. In addition, the costs of preparing, copying, distributing, etc. the petitions (and any other materials on the same specific subject used in the door-to-door signature gathering effort), are grass roots expenditures.

(5) Special rule for certain mass media advertisements—(i) In general. A mass media advertisement that is not a grass roots lobbying communication under the three-part grass roots lobbying definition contained in paragraph (b)(2) of this section may be a grass roots lobbying communication by virtue of paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section. The special rule in paragraph (b)(5)(ii) generally applies only to a limited type of paid advertisements that appear in the mass media.

(ii) Presumption regarding certain paid mass media advertisements about highly publicized legislation. If within two weeks before a vote by a legislative body, or a committee (but not a subcommittee) thereof, on a highly publicized piece of legislation, an organization's paid advertisement appears in the mass media, the paid advertisement will be presumed to be a grass roots lobbying communication, but only if the paid advertisement both reflects a view on the general subject of such legislation and either: refers to the highly publicized legislation; or encourages the public to communicate with legislators on the general subject of such legislation. An organization can rebut this presumption by demonstrating that the paid advertisement is a type of communication regularly made by the organization in the mass media without regard to the timing of legislation (that is, a customary course of business exception) or that the timing of the paid advertisement was unrelated to the upcoming legislative action. Notwithstanding the fact that an organization successfully rebuts the presumption, a mass media communication described in this paragraph (b)(5)(ii) is a grass roots lobbying communication if the communication would be a grass roots lobbying communication under the rules contained in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(iii) Definitions—(A) Mass media. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(5), the term “mass media” means television, radio, billboards and general circulation newspapers and magazines. General circulation newspapers and magazines do not include newspapers or magazines published by an organization for which the expenditure test election under section 501(h) is in effect, except where both: The total circulation of the newspaper or magazine is greater than 100,000; and fewer than one-half of the recipients are members of the organization (as defined in §56.4911-5(f)).

(B) Paid advertisement. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(5), where an electing public charity is itself a mass media publisher or broadcaster, all portions of that organization's mass media publications or broadcasts are treated as paid advertisements in the mass media, except those specific portions that are advertisements paid for by another person. The term “mass media” is defined in paragraph (b)(5)(iii)(A).

(C) Highly publicized. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(5), “highly publicized” means frequent coverage on television and radio, and in general circulation newspapers, during the two weeks preceding the vote by the legislative body or committee. In the case of state or local legislation, “highly publicized” means frequent coverage in the mass media that serve the State or local jurisdiction in question. Even where legislation receives frequent coverage, it is “highly publicized” only if the pendency of the legislation or the legislation's general terms, purpose, or effect are known to a significant segment of the general public (as opposed to the particular interest groups directly affected) in the area in which the paid mass media advertisement appears.

(iv) Examples. The special rule of this paragraph (b)(5) is illustrated by the following examples. The expenditure test election under section 501(h) is assumed to be in effect for all organizations discussed in the examples in this paragraph (b)(5)(iv):

Example 1. Organization X places a television advertisement advocating one of the President's major foreign policy initiatives, as outlined by the President in a series of speeches and as drafted into proposed legislation. The initiative is popularly known as “the President's World Peace Plan,” and is voted upon by the Senate four days after X's advertisement. The advertisement concludes: “SUPPORT THE PRESIDENT'S WORLD PEACE PLAN!” The President's plan and position are highly publicized during the two weeks before the Senate vote, as evidenced by: coverage of the plan on several nightly television network news program; more than one article about the plan on the front page of a majority of the country's ten largest daily general circulation newspapers; and an editorial about the plan in four of the country's ten largest daily general circulation newspapers. Although the advertisement does not encourage readers to contact legislators or other government officials, the advertisement does refer to specific legislation and reflect a view on the general subject of the legislation. The communication is presumed to be a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 2. Assume the same facts as in Example (1), except that the advertisement appears three weeks before the Senate's vote on the plan. Because the advertisement appears more than two weeks before the legislative vote, the advertisement is not within the scope of the special rule for mass media communications on highly publicized legislation. Accordingly, the advertisement is a grass roots lobbying communication only if it is described in the general definition contained in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Because the advertisement does not encourage recipients to take action with respect to the legislation in question, the advertisement is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 3. Organization Y places a newspaper advertisement advocating increased government funding for certain public works projects the President has proposed and that are being considered by a legislative committee. The advertisement explains the President's proposals and concludes: “SUPPORT FUNDING FOR THESE VITAL PROJECTS!” The advertisement does not encourage readers to contact legislators or other government officials nor does it name any undecided legislators, but it does name the legislation being considered by the committee. The President's proposed funding of public works, however, is not highly publicized during the two weeks before the vote: there has been little coverage of the issue on nightly television network news programs, only one front-page article on the issue in the country's ten largest daily general circulation newspapers, and only one editorial about the issue in the country's ten largest daily general circulation newspapers. Two days after the advertisement appears, the committee votes to approve funding of the projects. Although the advertisement appears less than two weeks before the legislative vote, the advertisement is not within the scope of the special rule for mass media communications on highly publicized legislation because the issue of funding for public works projects is not highly publicized. Thus, the advertisement is a grass roots lobbying communication only if it is described in the general definition contained in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Because the advertisement does not encourage recipients to take action with respect to the legislation in question, the advertisement is not a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 4. Organization P places numerous advertisements in the mass media about a bill being considered by the State Assembly. The bill is highly publicized, as evidenced by numerous front-page articles, editorials and letters to the editor published in the state's general circulation daily newspapers, as well as frequent coverage of the bill by the television and radio stations serving the state. The advertisements run over a three week period and, in addition to showing pictures of a family being robbed at gunpoint, say: “The State Assembly is considering a bill to make gun ownership illegal. This outrageous legislation would violate your constitutional rights and the rights of other law-abiding citizens. If this legislation is passed, you and your family will be criminals if you want to exercise your right to protect yourselves.” The advertisements refer to and reflect a view on a specific bill but do not encourage recipients to take action. Sixteen days after the last advertisement runs, a State Assembly committee votes to defeat the legislation. None of the advertisements is a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 5. Assume the same facts as in Example (4), except that it is publicly announced prior to the advertising campaign that the committee vote is scheduled for five days after the last advertisement runs. Because of public pressure resulting from the advertising campaign, the bill is withdrawn and no vote is ever taken. None of the advertisements is a grass roots lobbying communication.

(c) Exceptions to the definitions of direct lobbying communication and grass roots lobbying communication—(1) Nonpartisan analysis, study, or research exception—(i) In general. Engaging in nonpartisan analysis, study, or research and making available to the general public or a segment or members thereof or to governmental bodies, officials, or employees the results of such work constitute neither a direct lobbying communication under §56.4911-2(b)(1) nor a grass roots lobbying communication under §56.4911-2(b)(2).

(ii) Nonpartisan analysis, study, or research. For purposes of this section, “nonpartisan analysis, study, or research” means an independent and objective exposition of a particular subject matter, including any activity that is “educational” within the meaning of §1.501(c)(3)-1(d)(3). Thus, “nonpartisan analysis, study, or research” may advocate a particular position or viewpoint so long as there is a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion. The mere presentation of unsupported opinion, however, does not qualify as “nonpartisan analysis, study, or research”.

(iii) Presentation as part of a series. Normally, whether a publication or broadcast qualifies as “nonpartisan analysis, study, or research” will be determined on a presentation-by-presentation basis. However, if a publication or broadcast is one of a series prepared or supported by an electing organization and the series as a whole meets the standards of paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section, then any individual publication or broadcast within the series is not a direct or grass roots lobbying communication even though such individual broadcast or publication does not, by itself, meet the standards of paragraph (c)(1)(ii) of this section. Whether a broadcast or publication is considered part of a series will ordinarily depend upon all the facts and circumstances of each particular situation. However, with respect to broadcast activities, all broadcasts within any period of six consecutive months will oridinarily be eligible to be considered as part of a series. If an electing organization times or channels a part of a series which is described in this paragraph (c)(1)(iii) in a manner designed to influence the general public or the action of a legislative body with respect to a specific legislative proposal, the expenses of preparing and distributing such part of the analysis, study, or research will be expenditures for a direct or grass roots lobbying communications, as the case may be.

(iv) Making available results of nonpartisan analysis, study, or research. An organization may choose any suitable means, including oral or written presentations, to distribute the results of its nonpartisan analysis, study, or research, with or without charge. Such means include distribution of reprints of speeches, articles and reports; presentation of information through conferences, meetings and discussions; and dissemination to the news media, including radio, television and newspapers, and to other public forums. For purposes of this paragraph (c)(1)(iv), such communications may not be limited to, or be directed toward, persons who are interested solely in one side of a particular issue.

(v) Subsequent lobbying use of certain analysis, study or research. Even though certain analysis, study or research is initially within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research, subsequent use of that analysis, study or research for grass roots lobbying may cause that analysis, study or research to be treated as a grass roots lobbying communication that is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research. This paragraph (c)(1)(v) does not cause any analysis, study or research to be considered a direct lobbying communication. For rules regarding when analysis, study or research is treated as a grass roots lobbying communication that is not within the scope of the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research, see paragraph (b)(2)(v) of this section.

(vi) Directly encouraging action by recipients of a communication. A communication that reflects a view on specific legislation is not within the nonpartisan analysis, study, or research exception of this paragraph (c)(1) if the communication directly encourages the recipient to take action with respect to such legislation. For purposes of this section, a communication directly encourages the recipient to take action with respect to legislation if the communication is described in one or more of paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) (A) through (C) of this section. As described in paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section, a communication would encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation, but not directly encourage such action, if the communication does no more than specifically identify one or more legislators who will vote on the legislation as: opposing the communication's view with respect to the legislation; being undecided with respect to the legislation; being the recipient's representative in the legislature; or being a member of the legislative committee or subcommittee that will consider the legislation.

(vii) Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (c)(1) may be illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. Organization M establishes a research project to collect information for the purpose of showing the dangers of the use of pesticides in raising crops. The information collected includes data with respect to proposed legislation, pending before several State legislatures, which would ban the use of pesticides. The project takes favorable positions on such legislation without producing a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion on the pros and cons of the use of pesticides. This project is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research because it is designed to present information merely on one side of the legislative controversy.

Example 2. Organization N establishes a research project to collect information concerning the dangers of the use of pesticides in raising crops for the ostensible purpose of examining and reporting information as to the pros and cons of the use of pesticides in raising crops. The information is collected and distributed in the form of a published report which analyzes the effects and costs of the use and nonuse of various pesticides under various conditions on humans, animals and crops. The report also presents the advantages, disadvantages, and economic cost of allowing the continued use of pesticides unabated, of controlling the use of pesticides, and of developing alternatives to pesticides. Even if the report sets forth conclusions that the disadvantages as a result of using pesticides are greater than the advantages of using pesticides and that prompt legislative regulation of the use of pesticides is needed, the project is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research since it is designed to present information on both sides of the legislative controversy and presents a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion.

Example 3. Organization O establishes a research project to collect information on the presence or absence of disease in humans from eating food grown with pesticides and the presence or absence of disease in humans from eating food not grown with pesticides. As part of the research project, O hires a consultant who prepares a “fact sheet” which calls for the curtailment of the use of pesticides and which addresses itself to the merits of several specific legislative proposals to curtail the use of pesticides in raising crops which are currently pending before State Legislatures. The “fact sheet” presents reports of experimental evidence tending to support its conclusions but omits any reference to reports of experimental evidence tending to dispute its conclusions. O distributes ten thousand copies to citizens' groups. Expenditures by O in connection with this work of the consultant are not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.

Example 4. P publishes a bi-monthly newsletter to collect and report all published materials, ongoing research, and new developments with regard to the use of pesticides in raising crops. The newsletter also includes notices of proposed pesticide legislation with impartial summaries of the provisions and debates on such legislation. The newsletter does not encourage recipients to take action with respect to such legislation, but is designed to present information on both sides of the legislative controversy and does present such information fully and fairly. It is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.

Example 5. X is satisfied that A, a member of the faculty of Y University, is exceptionally well qualified to undertake a project involving a comprehensive study of the effects of pesticides on crop yields. Consequently, X makes a grant to A to underwrite the cost of the study and of the preparation of a book on the effect of pesticides on crop yields. X does not take any position on the issues or control the content of A's output. A produces a book which concludes that the use of pesticides often has a favorable effect on crop yields, and on that basis argues against pending bills which would ban the use of pesticides. A's book contains a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts, including known or potential disadvantages of the use of pesticides, to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion as to whether pesticides should be banned as provided in the pending bills. The book does not directly encourage readers to take action with respect to the pending bills. Consequently, the book is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.

Example 6. Assume the same facts as Example (2), except that, instead of issuing a report, X presents within a period of 6 consecutive months a two-program television series relating to the pesticide issue. The first program contains information, arguments, and conclusions favoring legislation to restrict the use of pesticides. The second program contains information, arguments, and conclusions opposing legislation to restrict the use of pesticides. The programs are broadcast within 6 months of each other during commensurate periods of prime time. X's programs are within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research. Although neither program individually could be regarded as nonpartisan, the series of two programs constitutes a balanced presentation.

Example 7. Assume the same facts as in Example (6), except that X arranged for televising the program favoring legislation to restrict the use of pesticides at 8:00 on a Thursday evening and for televising the program opposing such legislation at 7:00 on a Sunday morning. X's presentation is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research, since X disseminated its information in a manner prejudicial to one side of the legislative controversy.

Example 8. Organization Z researches, writes, prints and distributes a study on the use and effects of pesticide X. A bill is pending in the U.S. Senate to ban the use of pesticide X. Z's study leads to the conclusion that pesticide X is extremely harmful and that the bill pending in the U.S. Senate is an appropriate and much needed remedy to solve the problems caused by pesticide X. The study contains a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts, including known or potential advantages of the use of pesticide X, to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion as to whether pesticides should be banned as provided in the pending bills. In its analysis of the pending bill, the study names certain undecided Senators on the Senate committee considering the bill. Although the study meets the three part test for determining whether a communication is a grass roots lobbying communication, the study is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research, because it does not directly encourage recipients of the communication to urge a legislator to oppose the bill.

Example 9. Assume the same facts as in Example (8), except that, after stating support for the pending bill, the study concludes: “You should write to the undecided committee members to support this crucial bill.” The study is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research because it directly encourages the recipients to urge a legislator to support a specific piece of legislation.

Example 10. Organization X plans to conduct a lobbying campaign with respect to illegal drug use in the United States. It incurs $5,000 in expenses to conduct research and prepare an extensive report primarily for use in the lobbying campaign. Although the detailed report discusses specific pending legislation and reaches the conclusion that the legislation would reduce illegal drug use, the report contains a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to enable the public or an individual to form an independent conclusion regarding the effect of the legislation. The report does not encourage readers to contact legislators regarding the legislation. Accordingly, the report does not, in and of itself, constitute a lobbying communication.

Copies of the report are available to the public at X's office, but X does not actively distribute the report or otherwise seek to make the contents of the report available to the general public. Whether or not X's distribution is sufficient to meet the requirement in §56.4911-2(c)(1)(iv) that a nonpartisan communication be made available, X's distribution is not substantial (for purposes of §56.4911-2(b)(2)(v)(E)) in light of all of the facts and circumstances, including the normal distribution pattern of similar nonpartisan reports. X then mails copies of the report, along with a letter, to 10,000 individuals on X's mailing list. In the letter, X requests that individuals contact legislators urging passage of the legislation discussed in the report. Because X's research and report were primarily undertaken by X for lobbying purposes and X did not make a substantial distribution of the report (without an accompanying lobbying message) prior to or contemporaneously with the use of the report in lobbying, the report is a grass roots lobbying communication that is not within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research.

Example 11. Assume the same facts as in Example (10), except that before using the report in the lobbying campaign, X sends the research and report (without an accompanying lobbying message) to universities and newspapers. At the same time, X also advertises the availability of the report in its newsletter. This distribution is similar in scope to the normal distribution pattern of similar nonpartisan reports. In light of all of the facts and circumstances, X's distribution of the report is substantial. Because of X's substantial distribution of the report, X's primary purpose will be considered to be other than for use in lobbying and the report will not be considered a grass roots lobbying communication. Accordingly, only the expenditures for copying and mailing the report to the 10,000 individuals on X's mailing list, as well as for preparing and mailing the letter, are expenditures for grass roots lobbying communications.

Example 12. Organization M pays for a bumper sticker that reads: “STOP ABORTION: Vote NO on Prop. X!” M also pays for a 30-second television advertisement and a billboard that similarly advocate opposition to Prop. X. In light of the limited scope of the communications, none of the communications is within the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study or research. First, none of the communications rises to the level of analysis, study or research. Second, none of the communications is nonpartisan because none contains a sufficiently full and fair exposition of the pertinent facts to enable the public or an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion. Thus, each communication is a direct lobbying communication.

(2) Examinations and discussions of broad social, economic, and similar problems. Examinations and discussions of broad social, economic, and similar problems are neither direct lobbying communications under §56.4911-2(b)(1) nor grass roots lobbying communications under §56.4911-2(b)(2) even if the problems are of the type with which government would be expected to deal ultimately. Thus, under §§56.4911-2(b) (1) and (2), lobbying communications do not include public discussion, or communications with members of legislative bodies or governmental employees, the general subject of which is also the subject of legislation before a legislative body, so long as such discussion does not address itself to the merits of a specific legislative proposal and so long as such discussion does not directly encourage recipients to take action with respect to legislation. For example, this paragraph (c)(2) excludes from grass roots lobbying under §56.4911-2(b)(2) an organization's discussions of problems such as environmental pollution or population growth that are being considered by Congress and various State legislatures, but only where the discussions are not directly addressed to specific legislation being considered, and only where the discussions do not directly encourage recipients of the communication to contact a legislator, an employee of a legislative body, or a government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation.

(3) Requests for technical advice. A communication is not a direct lobbying communication under §56.4911-2(b)(1) if the communication is the providing of technical advice or assistance to a governmental body, a governmental committee, or a subdivision of either in response to a written request by the body, committee, or subdivision, as set forth in §53.4945-2(d)(2).

(4) Communications pertaining to “self-defense” by the organization. A communication is not a direct lobbying communication under §56.4911-2(b)(1) if either:

(i) The communication is an appearance before, or communication with, any legislative body with respect to a possible action by the body that might affect the existence of the electing public charity, its powers and duties, its tax-exempt status, or the deductibility of contributions to the organization, as set forth in §53.4945-2(d)(3);

(ii) The communication is by a member of an affiliated group of organizations (within the meaning of §56.4911-7(e)), and is an appearance before, or communication with, a legislative body with respect to a possible action by the body that might affect the existence of any other member of the group, its powers and duties, its tax-exempt status, or the deductibility of contributions to it;

(iii) The communication is by an electing public charity more than 75 percent of the members of which are other organizations that are described in section 501(c)(3), and is an appearance before, or communication with, any legislative body with respect to a possible action by the body which might affect the existence of one or more of the section 501(c)(3) member organizations, their powers, duties, or tax-exempt status, or the deductibility (under section 170) of contributions to one or more of the section 501(c)(3) member organizations, but only if the principal purpose of the appearance or communication is to defend the section 501(c)(3) member organizations (rather than the non-section 501(c)(3) member organizations); or

(iv) The communication is by an electing public charity that is a member of a limited affiliated group or organizations under §56.4911-10, and is an appearance before, or communication with, the Congress of the United States with respect to a possible action by the Congress that might affect the existence of any member of the limited affiliated group, its powers and duties, tax-exempt status, or the deductibility of contributions to it.

(v) Under the self-defense exception of paragraphs (c)(4) (i) through (iv) of this section, a charity may communicate with an entire legislative body, with committees or subcommittees of a legislative body, with individual legislators, with legislative staff members, or with representatives of the executive branch who are involved with the legislative process, so long as such communication is limited to the prescribed subjects. Similarly, under the self-defense exception, a charity may make expenditures in order to initiate legislation if such legislation concerns only matters which might affect the existence of the charity, its powers and duties, its tax-exempt status, or the deductibility of contributions to such charity. For examples illustrating the application and scope of the self-defense exception of this paragraph (c)(4), see §53.4945-2(d)(3)(ii).

(d) Definitions. For purposes of section 4911 and the regulations thereunder—

(1) Legislation—(i) In general. “Legislation” includes action by the Congress, any state legislature, any local council, or similar legislative body, or by the public in a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or similar procedure. “Legislation” includes a proposed treaty required to be submitted by the President to the Senate for its advice and consent from the time the President's representative begins to negotiate its position with the prospective parties to the proposed treaty.

(ii) Definition of specific legislation. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, “specific legislation” includes both legislation that has already been introduced in a legislative body and a specific legislative proposal that the organization either supports or opposes. In the case of a referendum, ballot initiative, constitutional amendment, or other measure that is placed on the ballot by petitions signed by a required number or percentage of voters, an item becomes “specific legislation” when the petition is first circulated among voters for signature.

(iii) Examples. The terms “legislation” and “specific legislation” are illustrated using the following examples:

Example 1. A nonmembership organization includes in its newsletter an article about problems with the use of pesticide X that states in part: “Legislation that is pending in Congress would prohibit the use of this very dangerous pesticide. Fortunately, the legislation will probably be passed. Write your congressional representatives about this important issue.” This is a grass roots lobbying communication that refers to and reflects a view on specific legislation and that encourages recipients to take action with respect to that legislation.

Example 2. An organization based in State A notes in its newsletter that State Z has passed a bill to accomplish a stated purpose and then says that State A should pass such a bill. The organization urges readers to write their legislators in favor of such a bill. No such bill has been introduced into the State A legislature. The organization has referred to and reflected a view on a specific legislative proposal and has also encouraged readers to take action thereon.

(2) Action. The term “action” in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section is limited to the introduction, amendment, enactment, defeat or repeal of Acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items.

(3) Legislative body. “Legislative body” does not include executive, judicial, or administrative bodies.

(4) Administrative bodies. “Administrative bodies” includes school boards, housing authorities, sewer and water districts, zoning boards, and other similar Federal, State, or local special purpose bodies, whether elective or appointive. Thus, for example, for purposes of section 4911, the term “any attempt to influence any legislation” does not include attempts to persuade an executive body or department to form, support the formation of, or to acquire property to be used for the formation or expansion of, a public park or equivalent preserves (such as public recreation areas, game, or forest preserves, and soil demonstration areas) established or to be established by act of Congress, by executive action in accordance with an act of Congress, or by a State, municipality or other governmental unit described in section 170(c)(1), as compared with attempts to persuade a legislative body, a member thereof, or other governmental official or employee, to promote the appropriation of funds for such an acquisition or other legislative authorization of such an acquisition. Therefore, for example, an organization would not be influencing legislation for purposes of section 4911, if it proposed to a Park Authority that it purchase a particular tract of land for a new park, even though such an attempt would necessarily require the Park Authority eventually to seek appropriations to support a new park. However, in such a case, the organization would be influencing legislation, for purposes of section 4911, if it provided the Park Authority with a proposed budget to be submitted to a legislative body, unless such submission is described by one of the exceptions set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

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§56.4911-3   Expenditures for direct and/or grass roots lobbying communications.

(a) Definition of term “expenditures for”—(1) In general. This §56.4911-3 contains allocation rules regarding what portion of a lobbying communication's costs is a direct lobbying expenditure, what portion is a grass roots expenditure and what portion is, in certain cases, a nonlobbying expenditure. Except as otherwise indicated in this paragraph (a), all costs of preparing a direct or grass roots lobbying communication are included as expenditures for direct or grass roots lobbying. Expenditures for a direct or grass roots lobbying communication (“lobbying expenditures”) include amounts paid or incurred as current or deferred compensation for an employee's services attributable to the direct or grass roots lobbying communication, and the allocable portion of administrative, overhead, and other general expenditures attributable to the direct or grass roots lobbying communication. For example, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (a), all expenditures for researching, drafting, reviewing, copying, publishing and mailing a direct or grass roots lobbying communication, as well as an allocable share of overhead expenses, are included as expenditures for direct or grass roots lobbying.

(2) Allocation of mixed purpose expenditures—(i) Nonmembership communications. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, lobbying expenditures for a communication that also has a bona fide nonlobbying purpose must include all costs attributable to those parts of the communication that are on the same specific subject as the lobbying message. All costs attributable to those parts of the communication that are not on the same specific subject as the lobbying message are not included as lobbying expenditures for allocation purposes. Whether or not a portion of a communication is on the same specific subject as the lobbying message will depend on the surrounding facts and circumstances. In general, a portion of a communication will be on the same specific subject as the lobbying message if that portion discusses an activity or specific issue that would be directly affected by the specific legislation that is the subject of the lobbying message. Moreover, discussion of the background or consequences of the specific legislation, or discussion of the background or consequences of an activity or specific issue affected by the specific legislation, is also considered to be on the same specific subject as the lobbying communication.

(ii) Membership communications. In the case of lobbying expenditures for a communication that also has a bona fide nonlobbying purpose and that is sent only or primarily to members, an electing public charity must make a reasonable allocation between the amount expended for the lobbying purpose and the amount expended for the nonlobbying purpose. An electing public charity that includes as a lobbying expenditure only the amount expended for the specific sentence or sentences that encourage the recipient to take action with respect to legislation has not made a reasonable allocation. For purposes of this paragraph, a communication is sent only or primarily to members if more than half of the recipients of the communication are members of the electing public charity making the communication within the meaning of §56.4911-5. See §56.4911-5 for separate rules on communications sent only or primarily to members. Nothing in this paragraph (a) shall change any allocation required by §56.4911-5.

(3) Allocation of mixed lobbying. If a communication (to which §56.4911-5 does not apply) is both a direct lobbying communication and a grass roots lobbying communication, the communication will be treated as a grass roots lobbying communication except to the extent that the electing public charity demonstrates that the communication was made primarily for direct lobbying purposes, in which case a reasonable allocation shall be made between the direct and the grass roots lobbying purposes served by the communication.

(b) Examples. The provisions of paragraph (a) of this section are illustrated by the following examples. Except where otherwise explicitly stated, the expenditure test election under section 501(h) is assumed to be in effect for all organizations discussed in the examples in this paragraph (b). See §56.4911-5 for special rules applying to the member communications described in some of the following examples.

Example 1. Organization R makes the services of E, one of its paid executives, available to S, an organization described in section 501(c)(4) of the Code. E works for several weeks to assist S in developing materials that urge voters to contact their congressional representatives to indicate their support for specific legislation. In performing this work, E uses office space and clerical assistance provided by R. R pays full salary and benefits to E during this period and receives no reimbursement from S for these payments or for the other facilities and assistance provided. All expenditures of R, including allocable office and overhead expenses, that are attributable to this assignment are grass roots expenditures because E was engaged in an attempt to influence legislation.

Example 2. An organization distributes primarily to nonmembers a pamphlet with two articles on unrelated subjects. The total cost of preparing, printing and mailing the pamphlet is $11,000, $1,000 for preparation and $10,000 for printing and mailing. The cost of preparing one article, a nonlobbying communication, is $600. The article is printed on three of the four pages in the pamphlet. The cost of preparing the second article, a grassroots lobbying communication that addresses only one specific subject, is $400. This article is printed on one page of the four page pamphlet. In this situation, $400 of preparation costs and $2,500 (25% of $10,000) of printing and mailing costs are expenditures for a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 3. Assume the same facts as in Example (2), except that the pamphlet is distributed only to members. In addition, assume the second article states that the recipient members should contact their congressional representatives. The organization allocates $400 of preparation costs and $2,500 of printing and mailing costs as expenditures for direct lobbying (see §56.4911-5(c)). The allocation is reasonable for purposes of §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii).

Example 4. Organization J places a full-page advertisement in a newspaper. The advertisement urges passage of pending legislation to build three additional nuclear powered submarines, and states that readers should write their Congressional representatives in favor of the legislation. The advertisement also provides a general description of J's purposes and activities, invites readers to become members of J and asks readers to contribute money to J. Except for the cost of the portion of the advertisement describing J's purposes and activities and the portion specifically seeking members and contributions, the entire cost of the advertisement is an expenditure for a grass roots lobbying communication, because the entire advertisement, except for the lines specifically describing J and specifically seeking members and contributions, is on the same specific subject as the grass roots lobbying message.

Example 5. Assume the same facts as in Example (4), except that J places in the newspaper two separate half-page advertisements instead of one full-page advertisement. One of the two advertisements discusses the need for three additional nuclear powered submarines and urges readers to write their Congressional representatives in favor of the pending legislation to build the three submarines. The other advertisement contains only the membership and fundraising appeals, along with a general description of J's purposes and activities. The half-page advertisement urging readers to write to Congress is a grass roots lobbying communication and all of J's expenditures for producing and placing that advertisement are expenditures for a grass roots lobbying communication. J's expenditures for the other half-page advertisement are not expenditures for a grass roots or direct lobbying communication.

Example 6. Assume the same facts as in Example (4), except that the communication by J is in a letter mailed only to members of J, rather than in newspaper advertisement, and the invitation to become a member of J is an invitation to join a new membership category. In addition, assume that the communication states that the member recipients should ask nonmembers to write their Congressional representatives. J allocates one-half of the cost of the mailing as an expenditure for a grass roots lobbying communication (see §56.4911-5(d)). Because the communication had both bona fide nonlobbying (e.g., membership solicitation and fundraising) purposes as well as lobbying purposes, J's allocation of one-half of the cost of the communication to grass roots lobbying and one-half to nonlobbying is reasonable for purposes of §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii).

Example 7. A particular monthly issue of organization X's newsletter, which is distributed mainly to nonmembers of X, has three articles of equal length. The first article is a grass roots lobbying communication, the sole specific subject of which is pending legislation to help protect seals from being slaughtered in certain foreign countries. The second article discusses the rapid decline in the world's whale population, particularly because of the illegal hunting of whales by foreign countries. The third article deals with air pollution and the acid rain problem in North America. Because the first article is a grass roots lobbying communication, all of the costs allocable to that article (e.g., one-third of the newsletter's printing and mailing costs) are lobbying expenditures. The second article is not a lobbying communication and the pending legislation relating to seals addressed in the first article does not affect the illegal whale hunting activities. Because the second and third articles are not lobbying communications and are also not on the same specific subject as the first article, no portion of the costs attributable to those articles is a grass roots lobbying expenditure.

Example 8. Organization T, a nonmembership organization, prepares a three page document that is mailed to 3,000 persons on T's mailing list. The first two pages of the three page document, titled “The Need for Child Care,” support the need for additional child care programs, and include statistics on the number of children living in homes where both parents work or in homes with a single parent. The two pages also make note of the inadequacy of the number of day care providers to meet the needs of these parents. The third page of the document, titled “H.R. 1,” indicates T's support of H.R. 1, a bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. The document states that H.R. 1 will provide for $10,000,000 in additional subsidies to child care providers, primarily for those providers caring for lower income children. The third page of the document also notes that H.R. 1 includes new federal standards regulating the quality of child care providers. The document ends with T's request that recipients contact their congressional representative in support of H.R. 1. The entire three page document is on the same specific subject, and, therefore, all expenditures of preparing and distributing the three page document are grass roots lobbying expenditures.

Example 9. Assume the same facts as in Example (8), except that the document has a fourth page. The fourth page does not refer to the general need for child care or the specific need for additional child care providers. Instead, the fourth page advocates that a particular federal agency commence, under its existing statutory authority, licensing of day care providers in order to promote safe and effective child care. The cost of the fourth page is not a lobbying expenditure.

Example 10. Assume the same facts as in Example (8), except that T is a membership organization, 75 percent of the recipients of the three page document are members of T, and 25 percent of the recipients are nonmembers and are not subscribers within the meaning of §56.4911-5(f)(5). Assume also that the document states that readers should write to Congress, but does not state that the readers should urge nonmembers to write to Congress. T treats the document as having a bona fide nonlobbying purpose, the purpose of educating its members about the need for child care. Accordingly, T allocates one-half of the cost of preparing and distributing the document as a lobbying expenditure (see §56.4911-5(e)(2)(i)), of which 75 percent is a direct lobbying expenditure (see §56.4911-5(e)(2)(iii)) and 25 percent is a grass roots lobbying expenditure (see §56.4911-5(e)(2)(ii)). The remaining one-half is allocated as a nonlobbying expenditure. T's allocation is reasonable for purposes of §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii) and is correct for purposes of §56.4911-5(e).

Example 11. Assume the same facts as in Example (10), except that T allocates one percent of the cost of preparing and distributing the document as a lobbying expenditure (for purposes of §56.4911-5(e)(2)) and 99 percent as a nonlobbying expenditure. T's allocation is based upon the fact that out of 200 lines in the document, only two lines state that the recipient should contact legislators about the pending legislation. T's allocation is unreasonable for purposes of §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii).

Example 12. Organization F, a nonmembership organization, sends a one page letter to all persons on its mailing list. The only subject of the letter is the organization's opposition to a pending bill allowing private uses of certain national parks. The letter requests recipients to send letters opposing the bill to their congressional representatives. A second one page letter is sent in the same envelope. The second letter discusses the broad educational activities and publications of the organization in all areas of environmental protection and ends by requesting the recipient to make a financial contribution to organization F. Since the separate second letter is on a different subject from the lobbying letter, and the letters are of equal length, 50 percent of the mailing costs must be allocated as an expenditure for a grass roots lobbying communication.

Example 13. Assume the same facts as in Example (12), except that F is a membership organization and the letters in question are sent primarily (90 percent) to members. The other 10 percent of the recipients are nonmembers and are not subscribers within the meaning of §56.4911-5(f)(5). Assume also that the first letter does not state that readers should urge nonmembers to write to legislators. F allocates one-half of the mailing costs as a lobbying expenditure, of which 90 percent is a direct lobbying expenditure and 10 percent is a grass roots lobbying expenditure (see §56.4911-5(e)(2)). F's allocation is reasonable for purposes of §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii) and is correct for purposes of §56.4911-5.

(c) Certain transfers treated as lobbying expenditures—(1) Transfer earmarked for grass roots purposes. A transfer is a grass roots expenditure to the extent that it is earmarked (as defined in §56.4911-4(f)(4)) for grass roots lobbying purposes and is not described in §56.4911-4(e).

(2) Transfer earmarked for direct and grass roots lobbying. A transfer that is earmarked for direct lobbying purposes or for direct lobbying and grass roots lobbying purposes is treated as a grass roots expenditure in full except to the extent the transferor demonstrates that all or part of the amounts transferred were expended for direct lobbying purposes, in which case that part of the amounts transferred is a direct lobbying expenditure by the transferor. This paragraph (c)(2) shall not apply to any expenditure described in §56.4911-4(e).

(3) Certain transfers to noncharities that lobby—(i) Limited application of paragraph (c)(3)—(A) In general. This paragraph (c)(3) applies only to transfers for less than fair market value from an electing public charity to any noncharity that makes lobbying expenditures. A noncharity is any entity that is not described in section 501(c)(3). In order for this paragraph to apply, the electing public charity must transfer to a noncharity more in value than it receives in return. For example, this paragraph does not apply to an electing public charity's fair market value payment of rent to a landlord. However, this paragraph does apply where an electing public charity and a noncharity share office space and the electing public charity pays more than fair market value rent to the noncharity. Similarly, this paragraph applies where an electing public charity sells goods or services to a noncharity for less than fair market value. See paragraphs (c)(3)(i) (B), (C) and (D) of this section for exceptions where non-fair market value transfers are not covered by this paragraph (c)(3). See paragraph (c)(3)(i)(E) of this section to determine the amount of any non-fair market value transfer covered by this paragraph (c)(3). See paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section for the rules that apply to transfers governed by this paragraph (c)(3).

(B) Exception for controlled grants. Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A) of this section, this paragraph (c)(3) does not apply where an electing public charity makes a grant to a noncharity that is a controlled grant (as defined in §56.4911-4(f)(3)).

(C) Exception for transfers that artificially inflate exempt purpose expenditures. Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A) of this section, this paragraph (c)(3) does not apply where an electing public charity makes a grant to a noncharity that is an expenditure described in §56.4911-4(e) (relating to grants that artificially inflate exempt purpose expenditures).

(D) Exception for substantially related activity. Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(3)(i)(A) of this section, this paragraph (c)(3) does not apply where an electing public charity, in the course of an activity that is substantially related to the accomplishment of the electing public charity's exempt purposes, makes goods or services widely available for less than fair market value to individual members of the general public and those goods or services are actually purchased (or consumed for no charge) by a substantial number of wholly unrelated individual members of the general public for less than fair market value. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the term “individual member of the general public” does not include any person or entity directly or indirectly affiliated with the electing public charity in question. The following example illustrates this paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D):

Example. Organization P is an educational organization dedicated to preserving the environment. One of P's activities is educating the public about the benefits of installing cost-effective passive solar energy systems, thereby helping to preserve the environment. P charges for its extensive literature and advice, but the charges are less than the fair market value of the literature and advice. P makes its literature and advice widely available to individual members of the general public by advertising in various media and by pamphlets distributed in various areas. P annually provides its literature and advice for less than fair market value to 500 wholly unrelated families, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations. Several of the businesses and tax-exempt organizations make lobbying expenditures within the meaning of section 4911. P's provision of its goods and services to these entities is not covered by this paragraph (c)(3) (and thus does not give rise to a lobbying expenditure by P under paragraph (c)(3)(ii)).

(E) Determination of amount of transfer governed by paragraph (c)(3). Where an electing public charity receives nothing of value in return for its transfer, the amount of the transfer governed by this paragraph (c)(3) is the greater of the fair market value or the cost of the goods or services transferred to the noncharity. Where the noncharity transfers something of value to the electing public charity in return for the charity's transfer, but that payment is less than the fair market value of the charity's transfer to the noncharity, the amount of the transfer governed by this paragraph (c)(3) is the excess of: first, the greater of the fair market value or cost of the goods or services transferred to the noncharity over, second, the value of the amount transferred to the charity. For example, if an electing public charity transfers $10,000 of goods and services to a noncharity that makes lobbying expenditures in return for payment by the noncharity of $2,000, the amount of the transfer governed by this paragraph (c)(3) is $8,000.

(ii) Rules governing transfers to which paragraph (c)(3) applies. A transfer to which this paragraph (c)(3) applies is treated in whole or in part as a grass roots and/or direct lobbying expenditure by the transferor in accordance with paragraphs (c)(3)(ii) (A), (B) and (C) of this section. In applying those paragraphs, the expenditures of the transferee will be determined as if the regulations under section 4911 applied to the transferee. This paragraph (c)(3) discusses only when certain transfers are lobbying expenditures by the transferor. This paragraph does not address other issues that may arise when an electing public charity makes a noncontrolled grant to a noncharity. Nothing in this paragraph (c)(3) shall be used to interpret issues relating to noncontrolled grants by charities to noncharities, such as whether the noncontrolled grant is consistent with the continued tax-exempt status of the electing public charity.

(A) Transfers treated as grass roots expenditures. The transfer is treated as a grass roots expenditure to the extent of the lesser of two amounts: The amount of the transfer and the amount of the transferee's grass roots expenditures.

(B) Transfers treated as direct lobbying expenditures. If the transfer is greater than the transferee's grass roots expenditures, the excess is treated as a direct lobbying expenditure, but only to the extent of the transferee's direct lobbying expenditures. (If, however, the transfer is less than the transferee's grass roots expenditures, none of the transfer is a direct lobbying expenditure.)

(C) Transfers treated as nonlobbying. If the transfer is greater than the sum of the transferee's grass roots and direct lobbying expenditures, the excess of the transfer over those lobbying expenses is not a lobbying expenditure.

(iii) Example. The following example illustrates the application of this paragraph (c)(3):

Example. Organization C, an electing public charity, shares employee E with N, a noncharity that makes lobbying expenditures. N's grass roots expenditures are $5,000 and its direct lobbying expenditures are $25,000. Each organization pays one-half of the $100,000 in direct and overhead costs associated with E. E devotes one-quarter of his time to C and three-quarters of his time to N. In substance, this arrangement is a transfer (for less than fair market value) from C to N in the amount of $25,000 (one-quarter of the $100,000 of direct and overhead costs associated with E's work). Accordingly, C is treated as having made a $5,000 grass roots expenditure (the lesser of N's grass roots expenditures ($5,000) or the amount of the transfer ($25,000)). C is also treated as having made a $20,000 direct lobbying expenditure (the lesser of N's direct lobbying expenditures ($25,000) or the remaining amount of the transfer ($20,000)).

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§56.4911-4   Exempt purpose expenditures.

(a) Application. This section provides rules under section 4911(e) for determining an electing public charity's “exempt purpose expenditures” for a taxable year for purposes of section 4911(c)(2) and §56.4911-1(c)(2). Those two sections generally define an electing public charity's lobbying limit (lobbying nontaxable amount) as a sliding scale percentage of the organization's exempt purpose expenditures. In determining an electing public charity's exempt purpose expenditures, no expenditure shall be counted twice by an organization.

(b) Included expenditures. Amounts paid or incurred by an organization that are exempt purpose expenditures include—

(1) Amounts paid or incurred to accomplish a purpose enumerated in section 170(c)(2)(B), including (but not limited to) the amount of any transfer made by the organization (other than a transfer described in paragraph (e) of this section) to another organization to accomplish the transferor's exempt purposes, and including amounts expended by an organization out of transfers (other than a transfer described in paragraph (e) of this section) for which the organization is the transferee,

(2) Amounts paid or incurred as current or deferred compensation for an employee's services for a purpose enumerated in section 170(c)(2)(B),

(3) The allocable portion of administrative overhead, and other general expenditures attributable to the accomplishment of a purpose enumerated in section 170(c)(2)(B),

(4) Lobbying expenditures (as defined in §56.4911-2(a)) whether or not for a purpose enumerated in section 170(c)(2)(B),

(5) Amounts paid or incurred for activities described in §56.4911-2(c),

(6) Amounts paid or incurred for activities described in §56.4811-5 that are not lobbying expenditures,

(7) A reasonable allowance for exhaustion, wear and tear, obsolescence or amortization, of assets to the extent used for one or more of the purposes described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (6) of this section, computed on a straight-line basis (for this purpose, an allowance for depreciation will be treated as reasonable if based on a useful life that would satisfy section 321(k)(3)(A) as in effect on January 1, 1985), and

(8) Fundraising expenditures (but see section 4911(e)(1)(C) and paragraphs (c)(3) and (4) of this section.)

(c) Excluded expenditures. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) of this section, exempt purpose expenditures do not include—

(1) Amounts paid or incurred that are neither expenditures to accomplish a purpose enumerated in section 170(c)(2)(B), lobbying expenditures (as defined in §56.4911-2(a)), nor expenditures described in paragraph (b)(5), (6) or (8) of this section,

(2) The amounts of any transfer described in paragraph (e) of this section,

(3) Amounts paid to or incurred for a separate fundraising unit (as defined in paragraph (f)(2) of this section) of an organization or of an affiliated organization (see §56.4911-7(a)),

(4) Amounts paid to or incurred for any person not an employee, or any organization not an affiliated organization, if paid or incurred primarily for fundraising, but only if such person or organization engages in fundraising, fundraising counselling or the provision of similar advice or services,

(5) Amounts paid or incurred that are properly chargeable to a capital account, determined in accordance with the principles that apply under section 263 or, as applicable, section 263A, with respect to an unrelated trade or business,

(6) Amounts paid or incurred for a tax that is not imposed in connection with the organization's efforts to accomplish a purpose described in section 170(c)(2)(B), such as taxes imposed under sections 511(a)(1) and 4911(a), and

(7) Amounts paid or incurred for the production of income. For purposes of this section, amounts are paid or incurred for the production of income if they are paid or incurred for a purpose or activity that is not substantially related (aside from the need of the organization for income or funds or the use it makes of the profits derived) to the exercise or performance by the organization of its charitable, educational or other purpose or function constituting the basis for its exemption under section 501. For example, the costs of managing an endowment are amounts that are paid or incurred for the production of income and are thus not exempt purpose expenditures. Fundraising expenditures are not, for purposes of this section, amounts that are paid or incurred for the production of income. Instead, the determination of whether fundraising costs are exempt purpose expenditures must be made with reference to section 4911(e)(1)(C) and paragraphs (b)(8), (c)(3) and (c)(4) of this section.

(d) Certain transfers treated as exempt purpose expenditures—(1) An organization's transfer will be treated as an exempt purpose expenditure under paragraph (b)(1) of this section if it is—

(i) Described in either paragraph (d)(2) or (d)(3) of this section, and

(ii) Not described in paragraph (e) of this section.

(2) A transfer is described in this paragraph (d)(2) if it is made to an organization described in section 501(c)(3) in furtherance of the transferor's exempt purposes and is not earmarked for any purpose other than a purpose described in section 170(c)(2)(B). Thus, a payment of dues by a local or state organization to, respectively, a state or national organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) is considered an exempt purpose expenditure of the transferor to the extent it is not otherwise earmarked.

(3) A transfer is described in this paragraph (d)(3) if it is a controlled grant (as defined in paragraph (f)(3) of this section), but only to the extent of the amounts that are paid or incurred by the transferee that would be exempt purpose expenditures if paid or incurred by the transferor.

(e) Transfers not exempt purpose expenditures—(1) An organization's transfer is described in this paragraph (e) if it is described in one of paragraphs (e)(2) through (e)(4).

(2) A transfer is described in this paragraph (e)(2) if it is made to a member of any affiliated group (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)) of which the transferor is a member.

(3) A transfer is described in this paragraph (e)(3) if the Commissioner determines that the transfer artificially inflates the amount of the transferor's or transferee's exempt purpose expenditures. In general, the Commissioner will make that determination if a substantial purpose of a transfer is to inflate those exempt purpose expenditures. A transfer described in this paragraph will not be considered an exempt purpose expenditure of the transferor, but will be an exempt purpose expenditure of the transferee to the extent that the transferee expends the transfer in the active conduct of its charitable activities or attempts to influence legislation. Standards similar to those found in §53.4942(b)-1(b) may be applied in determining whether the transferee has expended amounts in the “active conduct” of its charitable activities or attempts to influence legislation.

(4) A transfer is described in this paragraph (e)(4) if it is not a controlled grant and is made to an organization not described in section 501(c)(3) that does not attempt to influence legislation.

(f) Definitions—(1) For purposes of paragraph (c) of this section, “fundraising” includes—

(i) Soliciting dues or contributions from members of the organization, from persons whose dues are in arrears, or from the general public,

(ii) Soliciting grants from businesses or other organizations, including organizations described in section 501(c)(3), or

(iii) Soliciting grants from a governmental unit referred to in section 170(c)(1), or any agency or instrumentality thereof.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (c) of this section, a separate fundraising unit of any organization must consist of either two or more individuals a majority of whose time is spent on fundraising for the organization, or any separate accounting unit of the organization that is devoted to fundraising. For purposes of paragraph (c) of this section, amounts paid to or incurred for a separate fundraising unit include all amounts incurred for the creation, production, copying, and distribution of the fundraising portion of a separate fundraising unit's communication. (For example, an electing public charity that has a separate fundraising unit may not count the cost of postage for a separate fundraising unit's communication as an exempt purpose expenditure even though, under the electing public charity's accounting system, that cost is attributable to the mailroom rather than to the separate fundraising unit.)

(3) For purposes of this section, a “controlled grant” is a grant made by an eligible organization described in §1.501(h)-2(b) to an organization not described in section 501(c)(3) that meets the following requirements:

(i) The donor limits the grant to a specific project of the recipient that is in furtherance of the donor's (nonlobbying) exempt purposes; and

(ii) The donor maintains records to establish that the grant is used in furtherance of the donor's (nonlobbying) exempt purposes.

(4) A transfer, including a grant or payment of dues, is “earmarked” for a specific purpose—

(i) To the extent that the transferor directs the transferee to add the amount transferred to a fund established to accomplish the purpose, or

(ii) To the extent of the amount transferred or, if less, the amount agreed upon to the expended to accomplish the purpose, if there exists an agreement, oral or written, whereby the transferor may cause the transferee to expend amounts to accomplish the purpose or whereby the transferee agrees to expend an amount to accomplish the purpose.

(g) Example. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following example:

Example. Organization X is an exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) that is organized for the purpose of rehabilitating alcoholics. X elected to be subject to the provisions of section 501(h) in 1981. For 1981, X had the following expenditures that are included in its exempt purpose expenditures to the extent indicated.

DescriptionTotal (dollars)Includible (dollars)
Cost of real estate purchased for use as half-way house for alcoholics, attributable to the following:
Land30,000
Building200,000
Depreciation 40-year useful life5,000
Expenses of operating its half-way house170,000170,000
Administrative expenses of the organization allocated to the operation of its half-way house95,00095,000
Depreciation and allowances for equipment10,00010,000
Expenses related to attempts to influence legislation (lobbying expenditures)40,00040,000
Amounts paid to Z by the Organization for fundraising35,000
Total580,000320,000

Note: For 1981, X's exempt purpose expenditures total $320,000. The $35,000 paid by X to Z for fundraising is not included in the exempt purpose expenditures total. All lobbying expenses are included in full. Only depreciation computed on a straight-line basis is included in exempt purpose expenditures.

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§56.4911-5   Communications with members.

(a) In general. For purposes of section 4911, expenditures for certain communications between an organization and its members (“membership communications”) are treated more leniently than are communications to nonmembers. This §56.4911-5 contains rules about the more lenient treatment. In certain cases, this section provides that expenditures for a membership communication are not lobbying expenditures even though those expenditures would be lobbying expenditures if the communication were to nonmembers. In other cases, this section provides that expenditures for a membership communication are direct lobbying expenditures even though those expenditures would be grass roots expenditures if the communication were to nonmembers. Paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section set forth the more lenient rules that apply for communications that are directed only to members. Paragraph (e) of this section sets forth the more lenient rules that apply for communications that are directed primarily, but not solely, to members. Paragraph (f) of this section sets forth certain definitions and special rules.

(b) Communications (directed only to members) that are not lobbying communications. Expenditures for a communication that refers to, and reflects a view on, specific legislation are not lobbying expenditures if the communication satisfies the following requirements:

(1) The communication is directed only to members of the organization;

(2) The specific legislation the communication refers to, and reflects a view on, is of direct interest to the organization and its members;

(3) The communication does not directly encourage the member to engage in direct lobbying (whether individually or through the organization); and

(4) The communication does not directly encourage the member to engage in grass roots lobbying (whether individually or through the organization).

(c) Communications (directed only to members) that are direct lobbying communications. Expenditures for a communication that refers to, and reflects a view on, specific legislation and that satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(4) of this section, but does not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section, are treated as expenditures for direct lobbying.

(d) Communications (directed only to members) that are grass roots lobbying communications. Expenditures for a communication that refers to, and reflects a view on, specific legislation and that satisfies the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, but does not satisfy the requirements of paragraph (b)(4) of this section, are treated as grass roots expenditures (whether or not the communication satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b)(3) of this section).

(e) Written communications directed to members and nonmembers—(1) In general. Expenditures for any written communication that is designed primarily for members of an organization (but not directed only to members) and that refers to, and reflects a view on, specific legislation of direct interest to the organization and its members, are treated as expenditures for direct or grass roots lobbying in accordance with paragraph (e)(2), (e)(3) or (e)(4) of this section. For purposes of this section, a communication is designed primarily for members of an organization if more than half of the recipients of the communication are members of the organization.

(2) Direct lobbying directly encouraged—(i) Lobbying expenditure amount. If a written communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section directly encourages readers to engage individually or through the organization in direct lobbying but does not directly encourage them to engage in grass roots lobbying, the cost of the communication is allocated between expenditures for direct lobbying and grass roots expenditures in accordance with paragraphs (e)(2) (ii) and (iii) of this section. The portion of the cost to be allocated includes all costs of preparing all the material with respect to which readers are urged to engage in direct lobbying plus the mechanical and distribution costs attributable to the lineage devoted to this material (see §1.512(a)-1(f)(6)).

(ii) Grass roots amount. The amount allocable as a grass roots expenditure for a communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section is the amount calculated in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section multiplied by the sum of the nonmember subscribers percentage and all the other distribution percentage, both as defined in paragraph (f)(7) of this section. Solely for purposes of the allocation described in this paragraph (e)(2)(ii), the nonmember subscribers percentage is treated as zero unless it is greater than 15% of total distribution.

(iii) Direct lobbying amount. The amount allocable as an expenditure for direct lobbying for a communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section is the excess of the amount described in paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section over the amount described in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section.

(3) Grass roots expenditure if grass roots lobbying directly encouraged. If a written communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section directly encourages readers to engage individually or collectively (whether through the organization or otherwise) in grass roots lobbying (whether or not it also encourages readers to engage in direct lobbying), the grass roots expenditure includes all the costs of preparing all the material with respect to which readers are urged to engage in grass roots lobbying plus the mechanical and distribution costs attributable to the lineage devoted to this material (see §1.512(a)-1(f)(6)).

(4) No direct encouragement of direct lobbying or of grass roots lobbying. If a written communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section does not directly encourage readers to engage in either direct lobbying or grass roots lobbying, expenditures for the communication are not lobbying expenditures.

(f) Definitions and special rules. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911—

(1) Member; general rule. A person is a member of an electing public charity if the person—

(i) Pays dues or makes a contribution of more than a nominal amount,

(ii) Makes a contribution of more than a nominal amount of time, or

(iii) Is one of a limited number of “honorary” or “life” members who have more than a nominal connection with the electing public charity and who have been chosen for a valid reason (such as length of service to the organization or involvement in activities forming the basis of the electing public charity's exemption) unrelated to the electing public charity's dissemination of information to its members.

(2) Member; special rule. A person not a member of an electing public charity within the meaning of paragraph (f)(1) of this section may be treated as a member if the electing public charity demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Internal Revenue Service that there is a good reason for its membership requirements not meeting the requirements of such paragraph (f)(1), and that its membership requirements do not operate to permit an abuse of the rules described in this section.

(3) Member; affiliated group of organizations. For purposes of this section, a person who is a member of an organization that is a member of an affiliated group of organizations (within the meaning of §56.4911-7(e)) is treated as a member of each organization in the affiliated group.

(4) Member; limited affiliated group of organizations. For purposes of this section, a person who is a member of an organization that is a member of a limited affiliated group of organizations (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(b)) is treated as a member of each organization in the limited affiliated group, but only to the extent that the communication relates to a national legislative issue (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(g)).

(5) Subscriber. A person is a subscriber to a written communication if—

(i) The person is a member of the publishing organization and the membership dues expressly include the right to receive the written communication, or

(ii) The person has affirmatively expressed a desire to receive the written communication and has paid more than a nominal amount of the communication.

(6) Directly encourages—(i) Direct lobbying—(A) In general. For purposes of this section, a communication directly encourages a recipient to engage in direct lobbying, whether individually or through the organization, if the communication:

(1) States that the recipient should contact a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or should contact any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation (but only if the principal purpose of urging contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation);

(2) States the address, telephone number, or similar information of a legislator or an employee of a legislative body; or

(3) Provides a petition, tear-off postcard or similar material for the recipient to communicate his or her views to a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or to any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation (but only if the principal purpose of so facilitating contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation).

(B) “Self-defense” exception for communications with members. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (f)(6)(i)(A) of this section, for purposes of paragraphs (b)(3), (e)(2)(i), (e)(3) and (e)(4) of this section, a communication that directly encourages a member to engage in direct lobbying activities that are described in section 4911(d)(2)(C) and that would not be attempts to influence legislation if engaged in directly by the organization is treated as a communication that does not directly encourage a member to engage in direct lobbying.

(ii) Grass roots lobbying. For purposes of paragraphs (b)(4), (e)(3) and (e)(4) of this section, a communication directly encourages recipients to engage individually or collectively (whether through the organization or otherwise) in grass roots lobbying if the communication:

(A) States that the recipient should encourage any nonmember to contact a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or to contact any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation (but only if the principal purpose of urging contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation);

(B) States that the recipient should provide to any nonmember the address, telephone number, or similar information of a legislator or an employee of a legislative body; or

(C) Provides (or requests that the recipient provide to nonmembers) a petition, tear-off postcard or similar material for the recipient (or nonmember) to use to ask any nonmember to communicate views to a legislator or an employee of a legislative body, or to any other government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of legislation, but only if the principal purpose of so facilitating contact with the government official or employee is to influence legislation. For purposes of this paragraph (f)(6)(ii)(C), a petition is provided for the recipient to use to ask any nonmember to communicate views if, for example, the petition has an entire page of preprinted signature blocks. Similarly, for purposes of this paragraph (f)(6)(ii)(C), where a communication is distributed to a single member and provides several tear-off postcards addressed to a legislator, the postcards are presumed to be provided for the member to use to ask a nonmember to communicate with the legislator.

(7) Percentages of total distribution. With respect to a communication described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section—

(i) “Member percentage” means the percentage of total distribution that represents distribution of a single copy to any member;

(ii) “Nonmember subscribers percentage” means the percentage of total distribution that represents distribution to nonmember subscribers (including libraries); and

(iii) “All other distribution percentage” means 100% reduced by the sum of the member percentage and the nonmember subscribers percentage.

(8) Reasonable allocation rule. In the case of lobbying expenditures for a communication that also has a bona fide nonlobbying purpose and that is sent only or primarily to members, an electing public charity must make a reasonable allocation between the amount expended for the lobbying purpose and the amount expended for the nonlobbying purpose. See §56.4911-3(a)(2)(ii).

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§56.4911-6   Records of lobbying and grass roots expenditures.

(a) Records of lobbying expenditures. An electing public charity must keep a record of its lobbying expenditures for the taxable year. Lobbying expenditures of which an organization must keep a record include the following:

(1) Expenditures for grass roots lobbying, as described in paragraph (b) of this section;

(2) Amounts directly paid or incurred for direct lobbying, including payments to another organization earmarked for direct lobbying, fees and expenses paid to individuals or organizations for direct lobbying, and printing, mailing, and other direct costs of reproducing and distributing materials used in direct lobbying;

(3) The portion of amounts paid or incurred as current or deferred compensation for an employee's services for direct lobbying;

(4) Amounts paid for out-of-pocket expenditures incurred on behalf of the organization and for direct lobbying, whether or not incurred by an employee;

(5) The allocable portion of administrative, overhead, and other general expenditures attributable to direct lobbying;

(6) Expenditures for publications or for communications with members to the extent the expenditures are treated as expenditures for direct lobbying under §56.4911-5; and

(7) Expenditures for direct lobbying of a controlled organization (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(c)) to the extent included by a controlling organization (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(c)) in its lobbying expenditures.

(b) Records of grass roots expenditures. An electing public charity must keep a record of its grass roots expenditures for the taxable year. Grass roots expenditures of which an organization must keep a record include the following:

(1) Amounts directly paid or incurred for grass roots lobbying, including payments to other organizations earmarked for grass roots lobbying, fees and expenses paid to individuals or organizations for grass roots lobbying, and the printing, mailing, and other direct costs of reproducing and distributing materials used in grass roots lobbying;

(2) The portion of amounts paid or incurred as current or deferred compensation for an employee's services for grass roots lobbying;

(3) Amounts paid for out-of-pocket expenditures incurred on behalf of the organization and for grass roots lobbying, whether or not incurred by an employee;

(4) The allocable portion of administrative, overhead and other general expenditures attributable to grass roots lobbying;

(5) Expenditures for publication or communications that are treated as expenditures for grass roots lobbying under §56.4911-5; and

(6) Expenditures for grass roots lobbying of a controlled organization (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(c)) to the extent included by a controlling organization (within the meaning of §56.4911-10(c)) in its grass roots expenditures.

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§56.4911-7   Affiliated group of organizations.

(a) Affiliation between two organizations. Sections 4911(f) (1) through (3) contain a limited anti-abuse rule for groups of affiliated organizations. In general, the rule operates to prevent numerous organizations from being created for the purpose of avoiding the sliding-scale percentage limitation on an electing public charity's lobbying expenditures (as well as avoiding the $1,000,000 cap on a single electing public charity's lobbying expenditures). This is generally accomplished by treating the members of an affiliated group as a single organization for purposes of measuring both lobbying expenditures and permitted lobbying expenditures. The anti-abuse rule is implemented by this §56.4911-7 and §§56.4911-8 and 56.4911-9. This §56.4911-7 defines the term “affiliated group of organizations” and defines the taxable year of an affiliated group of organizations. Section 56.4911-8 provides rules concerning the exempt purpose expenditures, lobbying expenditures and grass roots expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations, as well as rules concerning the application of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on excess lobbying expenditures by the group. Section 56.4911-9 provides rules concerning the application of the section 501(h) lobbying expenditure limits to members of an affiliated group of organizations. (For additional rules for members of a limited affiliated group of organizations (generally, organizations that are affiliated solely by reason of governing instrument provisions that extend control solely with respect to national legislation), see section 4911(f)(4) and §56.4911-10).

(1) In general. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, two organizations are affiliated, subject to the limitation described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, if one organization is able to control action on legislative issues by the other by reason of interlocking governing boards (see paragraph (b) of this section) or by reason of provisions of the governing instruments of the controlled organization (see paragraph (c) of this section). The ability of the controlling organization to control action on legislative issues by the controlled organization is sufficient to establish that the organizations are affiliated; it is not necessary that the control be exercised.

(2) Organizations not described in section 501(c)(3). Two organizations, neither of which is described in section 501(c)(3), are affiliated only if there exists at least one organization described in section 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with both organizations.

(3) Action on legislative issues. For purposes of this section, the term “action on legislative issues” includes taking a position in the organization's name on legislation, authorizing any person to take a position in the organization's name on legislation, or authorizing any lobbying expenditures. The phrase does not include actions taken merely to correct unauthorized actions taken in the organization's name.

(b) Interlocking governing boards—(1) In general. Two organizations have interlocking governing boards if one organization (the controlling organization) has a sufficient number of representatives (within the meaning of paragraph (b)(5) of this section) on the governing board of the second organization (the controlled organization) so that by aggregating their votes, the representatives of the controlling organization can cause or prevent action on legislative issues by the controlled organization. If two organizations have interlocking governing boards, the organizations are affiliated without regard to how or whether the representatives of the controlling organization vote on any particular matter.

(2) Majority or quorum. Except as provided in paragraph (b) (3) or (4) of this section, the number of representatives of an organization (the controlling organization) who are members of the governing board of a second organization (the controlled organization) will be presumed sufficient to cause or prevent action on legislative issues by the controlled organization if that number either—

(i) Constitutes a majority of incumbents on the governing board, or

(ii) Constitutes a quorum, or is sufficient to prevent a quorum, for acting on legislative issues.

(3) Votes required under governing instrument or local law. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(4) of this section, if under the governing documents of an organization (the controlled organization), it can be determined that a lesser number of votes than the number described in paragraph (b)(2) of this section is necessary or sufficient to cause or to prevent action on legislative issues, the number of representatives of the controlling organization who are members of the governing board of the controlled organization will be considered sufficient to cause or prevent action on legislative issues if it equals or exceeds that number.

(4) Representatives constituting less than 15% of governing board. Notwithstanding paragraph (b) (2) or (3) of this section, if the number of representatives of one organization is less than 15 percent of the incumbents on the governing board of a second organization, the two organizations are not affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards.

(5) Representatives. (i) This paragraph (b)(5) describes members of the governing board of one organization (the controlled organization) who are considered representatives of a second organization (the controlling organization). Under this paragraph (b)(5), a member of the governing board of a controlled organization may be a representative of more than one controlling organization. A person with no authority to vote on any issue being considered by the governing board is not a representative of any organization.

(ii) A board member of one organization (the controlled organization) is a representative of a second organization (the controlling organization) if the controlling organization has specifically designated that person to be a board member of the controlled organization. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(5)(ii) and paragraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section, a board member of the controlled organization is specifically designated by the controlling organization if the board member is selected by virtue of the right of the controlling organization, under the governing instruments of the controlled organization, either to designate a person to be a member of the controlled organization's governing board, or to select a person for a position that entitles the holder of that position to be a member of the controlled organization's governing board.

(iii) A board member of one organization who is specifically designated by a second organization, a majority of the governing board of which is made up of representatives of a third organization, is a representative of the third organization as well as being a representative of the second organization pursuant to paragraph (b)(5)(ii) of this section.

(iv) A board member of one organization who is also a member of the governing board of a second organization is a representative of the second organization.

(v) A board member of one organization who is an officer or paid executive staff member of a second organization is a representative of the second organization. Although titles are significant in determining whether a person is a member of the executive staff of an organization, any employee of an organization who possesses authority commonly exercised by an executive is considered an executive staff member for purposes of this paragraph (b)(5)(v).

(c) Governing instrument. One organization (the “controlling” organization) is affiliated with a second organization (the “controlled” organization) by reason of the governing instruments of the contolled organization if the governing instruments of the controlled organization limit the independent action of the controlled organization on legislative issues by requiring it to be bound by decisions of the other organization on legislative issues.

(d) Three or more organizations affiliated—(1) Two controlled organizations affiliated. If a controlling organization described in this section is affiliated with each of two or more controlled organizations described in this section, then the controlled organizations are affiliated with each other.

(2) Chain rule. If one organization is a controlling organization described in this section with respect to a second organization and that second organization is a controlling organization with respect to a third organization, then the first organization is affiliated with the third.

(e) Affiliated group of organizations—(1) Defined. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, an affiliated group of organizations is a group of organizations—

(i) Each of which is affiliated with every other member for at least thirty days of the taxable year of the affiliated group (determined without regard to the election provided for in paragraph (e)(5) of this section),

(ii) Each of which is an eligible organization (within the meaning of §1.501(h)-2(b)(1)), and

(iii) At least one of which is an electing member organization (within the meaning of paragraph (e)(4) of this section).

Each organization in a group of organizations that satisfies the requirements of the preceding sentence is a member of the affiliated group of organizations for the taxable year of the affiliated group.

(2) Multiple membership. For any taxable year of an organization, it may be a member of two or more affiliated groups of organizations.

(3) Taxable year of affiliated group. If all members of an affiliated group have the same taxable year, that taxable year is the taxable year of the affiliated group. If the members of an affiliated group do not all have the same taxable year, the taxable year of the affiliated group is the calendar year, unless the election under paragraph (e)(5) of this section is made.

(4) Electing member organization. For purposes of the regulations under section 4911, an “electing member organization” is an organization to which the expenditure test election under section 501(h) applies on at least one day of the taxable year of the affiliated group of which it is a member. For purposes of the preceding sentence (and notwithstanding §1.501(h)-2(a)), the expenditure test is not considered to apply to the organization on any day before the date on which it files the Form 5768 making the expenditure test election.

(5) Election of member's year as group's taxable year. The taxable year of an affiliated group may be determined according to the provisions of this paragraph (e)(5) if all of the members of the affiliated group so elect. Under this paragraph (e)(5), each member organization shall apply the provisions of section 501(h) and 4911, and the regulations thereunder (unless the regulations provide otherwise), by treating its own taxable year as the taxable year of the affiliated group. The election may be made by an electing member organization by attaching to its annual return a statement from itself and every other member of the affiliated group that contains: the organization's name, address, and employer identification number; and its signed consent to the election provided for in this paragraph (e)(5). The election must be made no later than the due date of the first annual return of any electing member for its taxable year for which the member is liable for tax under section 4911(a), determined under §56.4911-8(d). The election may not be made or revoked after the due date of the return referred to in the preceding sentence except upon such terms and conditions as the Commissioner may prescribe.

(f) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples.

Example 1. M, N, and O are eligible organizations within the meaning of §1.501(h)-2(b)(1). Each has a governing board made up of nine members. Five members on the board of N are also members of the board of M. N designates five individuals from among its board, officers, and executive staff members to serve on the board of O. M is affiliated with N, N is affiliated with O, and M is affiliated with O.

Example 2. X, an eligible organization, has a board consisting of 10 members. Five unaffiliated tax-exempt organizations each designate two individuals to serve on the governing board of X. A simple majority of the board of X is a quorum and may establish X's position on legislative issues. X is not affiliated with any of the five autonomous organizations by reason of interlocking governing boards.

Example 3. P and Q are eligible organizations. The governing instruments of Q state that it will not take a position on legislation if P disapproves of the position. In addition, there is regular correspondence between P and Q with regard to positions on legislation. P is affiliated with Q regardless of whether P has ever vetoed a position taken by Q.

Example 4. The governing board of organization R resolves to adopt the position taken on legislative issues by organization S. R and S are eligible organizations and do not have interlocking governing boards. The governing instruments of R do not mention organization S and do not indicate that R is to be bound by the decisions of legislation of any organization. R and S are not affiliated.

Example 5. Organization Z is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of Organization Y. Organization Y, however, is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of Organization X. Organization X is affiliated with Y and Z; Y is affiliated with X and Z; and Z is affiliated with X and Y.

Example 6. Organizations T and U have interlocking boards of directors. T is the controlling organization. Organization V is bound, under the terms of its governing instruments, by the legislative positions of U. T and V are affiliated because T may cause or prevent action on legislative issues by U, and V is bound by U's action. If U were the controlling organization, T and V would be affiliated as two organizations controlled by the same organization.

Example 7. Organization A is described in section 501(c)(4). It is affiliated, as the controlling organization, with organizations K and L, both of which are described in section 501(c)(3) and are eligible to elect under section 501(h). If K elects under section 501(h), K and L are an affiliated group of organizations. Even though A is affiliated with K and L, A is not a member of that affiliated group of organizations because A is not an eligible organization within the meaning of §1.501(h)-2(b)(1) (see §56.4911-7(e)(1) for the definition of which affiliated organizations may be members of an affiliated group of organizations).

Example 8. G, H, I, and J are eligible organizations. G, H, and I have elected the expenditure test under section 501(h). The governing board of J has nine members. Under the governing instruments of J, organizations G, H, and I each designate three members of the governing board of J. Also under the governing instruments of J, action on legislative issues requires the approval of any seven board members. Because the three representatives of G may prevent action on legislative issues, J is affiliated with G. Similarly, J is affiliated with each of H and I. However, under none of the rules of affiliation is G affiliated with H, or H with I, or I with G. Therefore J is a member of one affiliated group comprising G and J, of another group comprising H and J, and of a third group comprising I and J.

Example 9. Organizations C, D, and E have been affiliated for many years and have all elected the expenditure test. Each has a taxable year ending July 31. For every day of the year ending July 31, 1992, they were eligible organizations, electing member organizations, and affiliated with each other. On no day of that year were they affiliated with any other eligible organization having a different taxable year. Therefore, the year ending July 31, 1992, is the taxable year of the affiliated group comprising C, D, and E.

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§56.4911-8   Excess lobbying expenditures of affiliated group.

(a) Application. This section provides rules concerning the exempt purpose expenditures, lobbying expenditures, and grass roots expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations, and the application of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of the group.

(b) Affiliated group treated as one organization. Under section 4911(f), an affiliated group of organizations is treated as a single organization for purposes of the tax imposed by section 4911(a). For any taxable year of the affiliated group, the group's lobbying expenditures, grass roots expenditures, and exempt purpose expenditures are equal to the sum of the lobbying expenditures, grass roots expenditures, and exempt purpose expenditures, respectively, paid or incurred by each member during the taxable year of the affiliated group. The lobbying and grass roots nontaxable amounts for the affiliated group for a taxable year are determined under section 4911(c) (2) and (4) and §56.4911-1(c) and are based on the sum of the exempt purpose expenditures described in the preceding sentence. The lobbying and grass roots ceiling amounts for the affiliated group for a taxable year are calculated under §1.501(h)-3(c) (3) and (6) based upon the nontaxable amounts determined pursuant to the preceding sentence.

(c) Tax imposed on excess lobbying expenditures of affiliated group. The excise tax under section 4911(a) is imposed for a taxable year of an affiliated group if the group has excess lobbying expenditures. For any taxable year of an affiliated group, the group's excess lobbying expenditures are the greater of—

(1) The amount by which the group's lobbying expenditures exceed the group's lobbying nontaxable amount, or

(2) The amount by which the group's grass roots expenditures exceed the group's grass roots nontaxable amount.

(d) Liability for tax—(1) Electing organizations. As provided in this paragraph (d), an electing member organization is liable for all or a portion of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations. An organization that is liable under this paragraph (d) is not liable for any excise tax under section 4911 based on its own excess lobbying expenditures. A member of the affiliated group that is not an electing member organization is not liable for any portion of the excise tax that is imposed with respect to the affiliated group.

(2) Tax based on excess lobbying expenditures. If the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations is based upon the amount described in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, and at least one electing member has made lobbying expenditures, each electing member organization is liable for a portion of the tax equal to the amount of the tax multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the electing member organization's lobbying expenditures paid or incurred during the taxable year of the affiliated group, and the denominator of which is the sum of the lobbying expenditures of all electing member organizations in the group paid or incurred during the taxable year of the affiliated group.

(3) Tax based on excess grass roots expenditures. If the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations is based upon the amount described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and at least one electing member has made grass roots expenditures, each electing member organization is liable for a portion of the tax equal to the amount of the tax multiplied by the fraction described in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, except that “grass roots expenditures” is substituted for “lobbying expenditures.”

(4) Tax based on exempt purpose expenditures. If the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations is based upon the amount described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, and if paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section do not apply because no electing organization has made lobbying or grass roots expenditures, respectively, each electing member organization is liable for a portion of the tax equal to the amount of tax multiplied by a fraction the numerator of which is the electing member organization's exempt purpose expenditures and the denominator of which is the exempt purpose expenditures of all the electing member organizations in the affiliated group.

(5) Taxable year for which liable. An electing member organization that is liable for all or a portion of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of an affiliated group of organizations is liable for the tax as if the tax were imposed for its taxable year with which or within which ends the taxable year of the affiliated group.

(6) Organization a member of more than one affiliated group. If, under this paragraph (d), an organization is liable for its taxable year for two or more excise taxes imposed by section 4911(a) on the excess lobbying expenditures of two or more affiliated groups, then the organization is liable only for the greater of the two or more taxes.

(e) Former member organization. An electing member organization that ceases to be a member of an affiliated group of organizations, the taxable year of which is different from its own, must thereafter determine its liability under §56.4911-1 for the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) as if its taxable year were the taxable year of the affiliated group of which it was formerly a member. An organization to which this paragraph (e) applies that is liable for the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a) is liable for the tax as if the tax were imposed for its taxable year within which ends the taxable year of the affiliated group of which it was formerly a member. The Commissioner may, at the Commissioner's discretion, permit an organization to disregard the rules of this paragraph (e) and to determine any liability under section 4911(a) based upon its own taxable year.

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§56.4911-9   Application of section 501(h) to affiliated groups of organizations.

(a) Scope. This section provides rules concerning the application of the limitations of section 501(h) to members of an affiliated group of organizations (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)(1)).

(b) Determination required. For each taxable year of an affiliated group of organizations, the calculations described in §1.501(h)-3(b)(1) (i) and (ii) must be made, based on the expenditures of the group. If, for a taxable year of an affiliated group, it is determined that the sum of the affiliated group's lobbying or grass roots expenditures for the group's base years exceeds 150 percent of the sum of the group's corresponding nontaxable amounts for the base years, then under section 501(h), each member organization that is an electing member organization (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)(4)) at any time in the taxable year of the affiliated group shall be denied tax exemption beginning with its first taxable year beginning after the end of such taxable year of the affiliated group. Thereafter, exemption shall be denied unless (pursuant to §1.501(h)-3(d)) the organization reapplies and is recognized as exempt as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). For purposes of this section, the term base years generally means the taxable year of the affiliated group for which a determination is made and the group's three preceding taxable years. Base years, however, do not include any year preceding the first year in which at least one member of the group was treated as described in section 501(c)(3).

(c) Member organizations that are not electing organizations. An organization that is a member of an affiliated group of organizations but that is not an electing member organization remains subject to the “substantial part test” described in section 501(c)(3) with respect to its activities involving attempts to influence legislation.

(d) Filing of information relating to affiliated group of organizations—(1) Scope. The filing requirements described in this paragraph (d) apply to each member of an affiliated group or organizations for the taxable year of the member with which, or within which, ends the taxable year of the affiliated group.

(2) In general. Each member of an affiliated group of organizations shall provide to every other member of the group, before the first day of the second month following the close of the affiliated group's taxable year, its name, identification number, and the information required under §1.6033-2(a)(2)(ii)(k) for its expenditures during the group's taxable year and for prior taxable years of the group that are base years under paragraph (b). For groups electing under §56.4911-7(e)(5) to have each member file information with respect to the group based on its taxable year, each member shall provide the information required by the preceding sentence by treating each taxable year of any member of the group as a taxable year for the group.

(3) Additional information required. In addition to the information required by §1.6033-2(a)(2)(ii)(k), each member of an affiliated group of organizations must provide on its annual return the group's taxable year and, if the election under §56.4911-7(e)(5) is made, the name, identification number, and taxable year identifying the return with which its consent to the election was filed.

(4) Information required of electing member organization. In addition to the information required by §1.6033-2(a)(2)(ii)(k) and paragraph (d)(3) of this section, each electing member organization (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)(4)) must provide on its annual return—

(i) The name and identification number of each member of the group, and

(ii) The appropriate calculation described in §56.4911-8(d), if the organization is an electing member organization liable for all or any portion of the excise tax imposed by section 4911(a).

(e) Example. The provisions of this section may be illustrated by the following example:

Example. (1) M, N, and O are affiliated organizations under §56.4911-7(a). M's taxable year ends November 30, N's, January 31, and O's, June 30. On June 20, 1979, O files Form 5768 to elect to be governed by the expenditure test. M files Form 5768 in December of 1979. Neither M nor O revokes the election, and no organization makes the election provided for in §56.4911-7(e)(5). M, N, and O constitute an affiliated group of organizations, the first taxable year of which is the calendar year 1979.

(2) Because the organizations did not elect under §56.4911-7(e)(5) to use their own taxable years as the group's taxable years, the expenditures of the affiliated group for its first taxable year are the expenditures made by M, N, and O during calendar year 1979, and are reported by M, N, and O on their returns for their taxable years within which falls December 31, 1979. M reports the expenditures of the affiliated group for 1979 on its return for its taxable year ending November 30, 1980; and O, on its return for its taxable year ending June 30, 1980. N is not an electing member (as defined in §56.4911-7(e)(4)). Accordingly, under paragraph (d)(3)(i) of this section, it reports the name and identification number of each member of the group.

(3) The following tables summarize the expenditures by the affiliated group for the calendar years indicated. None of the group's lobbying expenditures for its taxable years 1979 through 1982 were grass roots expenditures.

Table I—Group's Expenditures

YearExempt purpose expenditures (EPE)CalculationLobbying nontaxable amount (LNTA)Lobbying expenditures (LE)
1979$400,000(20% × $400,000=)$80,000$100,000
1980300,000(20% × $300,000=)60,000100,000
1981600,000(20% × $500,000 +
15% × $100,000=)
115,000120,000
1982500,000(20% × $500,000=)100,000220,000
Total1,800,000355,000540,000

Table II—Expenditures of M and O

   Exempt purpose expendituresLobbying nontaxable amountLobbying expendituresM plus O
MOMOMO
1979125,000100,00025,00020,00060,00020,00080,000
1980100,00050,00020,00010,00040,00040,00080,000
1981250,000100,00050,00020,00060,00040,000100,000
1982200,000100,00040,00020,000160,00040,000200,000
(4) For the affiliated group's taxable years 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982, the group has excess lobbying expenditures. Under section 4911(f)(1)(B) and §56.4911-8(d), M and O, as electing member organizations, are liable for a portion of the 25 percent excise tax imposed on the group's excess lobbying expenditures, based on their respective shares of the lobbying expenditures of all electing member organizations. For 1979, the excess lobbying expenditures are $20,000 ($100,000−$80,000). The tax is 25% of $20,000 or $5,000; M must pay $3,750 (($60,000/$80,000) × $5,000 = $3,750), and O must pay $1,250 (($20,000/$80,000) × $5,000 = $1,250). For 1980, the tax is $10,000 and each must pay $5,000. For 1981, the tax is $1,250, of which M must pay $750 and O must pay $500. For 1982, the tax is $30,000. M must pay $24,000 and O must pay $6,000. M and O are not liable for any separate 4911 excise tax that otherwise would have been imposed on their separate excess lobbying expenditures.

(5) Under §56.4911-9(b), the group must make the calculation described in §1.501(h)-3(b)(1) for each of the group's taxable years 1979 through 1982. The following illustrates only the required calculation for the group's taxable year 1982. For its taxable year 1982, the group must determine whether it normally has made lobbying expenditures in excess of its lobbying ceiling amount. The determination takes into account the group's expenditures in base years 1979 through 1982. The sum of the group's lobbying expenditures for the base years ($540,000) exceeds 150% of the sum of the group's lobbying nontaxable amounts for the base years (150% × $355,000 = $532,500). Therefore, for its taxable year 1982, the group normally has made lobbying expenditures in excess of its lobbying ceiling amount. Under section 501(h) and §56.4911-9(b), M is not exempt from tax under section 501(a) as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) for its taxable year beginning December 1, 1983, and O is not exempt for its year beginning July 1, 1983. Whether N's lobbying expenditures disqualify it for tax exemption at any time after January 1, 1979, is determined under the substantial part test of section 501(c)(3).

(f) Cross reference. For other provisions relating to members of an affiliated group or organizations, see §§56.4911-2(c)(4)(ii), 56.4911-4(c)(2), 56.4911-4(e), and 56.4911-5(f)(3).

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§56.4911-10   Members of a limited affiliated group of organizations.

(a) Scope. This section provides additional rules for members of a limited affiliated group of organizations, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section (relating generally to organizations that are affiliated solely by reason of provisions of their governing instruments that extend control solely with respect to national legislation). Except as otherwise provided in this section, §§56.4911-8 and 56.4911-9 do not apply to members of a limited affiliated group. Thus, as modified by this section, the regulations under sections 501(h) and 4911 apply to electing members of a limited affiliated group individually. For example, §§56.4911-2 through 56.4911-4, which, by their terms, include amounts described in paragraph (d) of this section, are used in applying sections 501(h) and 4911 to controlling member organizations (within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section). Except as otherwise provided in this section, members of a limited affiliated group that are not electing organizations are subject to the substantial part test.

(b) Members of limited affiliated group. For purposes of section 4911, a limited affiliated group consists of two or more organizations that meet the following requirements:

(1) Each organization is a member of an affiliated group of organizations as defined in §56.4911-7(e);

(2) No two members of the affiliated group described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section are affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards under §56.4911-7(b); and

(3) No member of the affiliated group described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section is, under its governing instrument, bound by decisions of one or more of the other such members on legislative issues other than national legislative issues.

Each organization in a group of organizations that satisfies the requirements of the preceding sentence is a member of the limited affiliated group.

(c) Controlling and controlled organizations. For purposes of this section, a member of a limited affiliated group is a controlling member organization if it controls one or more of the other members of the limited affiliated group, and a member of a limited affiliated group is a controlled member organization if it is controlled by one or more of the other members of the limited affiliated group. For purposes of the preceding sentence, whether an organization controls a second organization shall be determined by whether the second organization is bound, under its governing instruments, by actions taken by the first organization on national legislative issues.

(d) Expenditures of controlling organization—(1) Scope. This paragraph (d) applies to a controlling member organization that has the expenditure test election in effect for its taxable year. This paragraph (d) applies whether or not the organization is also a controlled member organization. In determining a controlling member organization's expenditures, no expenditure shall be counted twice.

(2) Expenditures for direct lobbying. A controlling member organization for which the expenditure test election is in effect shall include in its direct lobbying expenditures for its taxable year the direct lobbying expenditures (as defined in §§56.4911-2 and 56.4911-3) paid or incurred with respect to national legislative issues during such year by each organization that is a member of the limited affiliated group and is controlled (within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section) by such controlling member organization.

(3) Grass roots expenditures. A controlling member organization for which the expenditure test election is in effect shall include in its grass roots expenditures for its taxable year the grass roots expenditures (as defined in §§56.4911-2 and 56.4911-3) paid or incurred with respect to national legislative issues during such year by each organization that is a member of the limited affiliated group and is controlled (within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section) by such controlling member organization.

(4) Exempt purpose expenditures. The exempt purpose expenditures of a controlling member organization do not include the exempt purpose expenditures (other than lobbying expenditures described in paragraphs (d)(2) and (d)(3) of this section) of any organization that is a controlled member organization with respect to it.

(e) Expenditures of controlled member. A controlled member organization that is an electing organization but that does not control (within the meaning of paragraph (c) of this section) any organization in the limited affiliated group shall apply sections 501(h) and 4911 and the regulations thereunder without regard to the expenditures of any other member of the limited affiliated group.

(f) Reports of members of limited affiliated groups—(1) Controlling member organization's additional information on annual return. In addition to the information required by §1.6033-2(a)(2)(ii)(k), each controlling member organization for which the expenditure test election is in effect must provide on its annual return the name and identification number of each member of the limited affiliated group.

(2) Reports of controlling members to other members. Each controlling member organization for which an expenditure test election is in effect must notify each member that it controls of its taxable year in order for the controlled organization to prepare the report required by paragraph (f)(3) of this section. Such notification must be made before the beginning of the second month after the close of each taxable year of the controlling member for which the election is in effect.

(3) Reports of controlled member organization. Every controlled member organization (whether or not the expenditure test election is in effect with respect to it) shall provide to each member of the limited affiliated group that controls it, before the first day of the second month following the close of the taxable year of each such controlling organization, its name, identification number, and the lobbying expenditures and grass roots expenditures on national legislative issues incurred by the controlled member organization.

(g) National legislative issues. The term “national legislative issue” means legislation, limited to action by the Congress of the United States or by the public in any national procedure. If an issue is both national and local, it is characterized as a national legislative issue if the contemplated legislation is Congressional legislation.

(h) Examples. The provisions of this section are illustrated by the following examples:

Example 1. State X has an income tax law that uses definitions contained in the Internal Revenue Code as it may be amended from time to time. Legislation to change a definition in the Internal Revenue Code is pending in Congress. This is a national legislative issue even though Congressional action may affect state law.

Example 2. Organization M takes a position favoring approval by Congress of a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. This is a national legislative issue. After approval by Congress and submission to the states for ratification, the proposed amendment ceases to be a national legislative issue.

Example 3. N, O, and P are organizations described in section 501(c)(3) that do not have interlocking governing boards, within the meaning of §56.4911-7(b). N has elected the expenditure test under section 501(h). By virtue of the governing instruments of O and P, any decision made by N on national legislative issues (such as issues concerning action on acts, bills, resolutions, or similar items by Congress) binds both O and P. Under their governing instruments, O and P are not bound on any other issues. Therefore, N, O, and P constitute a limited affiliated group. If P sends a series of letters and pamphlets to members of Congress in support of bill V, their cost will be included in N's and P's expenditures for direct lobbying and in N's and P's exempt purposes expenditures, but will not be included in O's lobbying expenditures. If N hires a lobbyist to solicit support for bill V, the cost of hiring the lobbyist will be includable only in N's lobbying expenditures. Any lobbying expenditures incurred by either O or P on any issue that is not a national legislative issue will not be included in N's lobbying expenditures.

Example 4. Y is an electing organization and a member of a limited affiliated group of organizations. Y controls organizations A, B, and C with respect to national legislative issues but is not controlled by any other organization.—Y's taxable year is the calendar year. During 1982, A dissolves on March 15th and D, also controlled by Y with respect to national legislative issues, is established on May 1st. For 1982 the limited affiliated group comprises Y, A, B, C, and D.

Example 5. P, Q, R, and S are electing organizations. The governing instruments of Q require it to adopt the positions on national legislative issues adopted by P. R is similarly bound by Q's positions. R and S have interlocking governing boards, within the meaning of §56.4911-7(b), but S's governing instruments do not require it to adopt the position of any other organization on any legislative issues. Under §56.4911-7(e)(1), P, Q, R, and S are members of an affiliated group. Applying paragraph (b) of this section, it is determined that (1) P, Q, R and S are members of an affiliated group; and (2) R and S are affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards. Accordingly, P, Q, R and S are not a limited affiliated group. Similarly, P, Q, and R do not constitute a limited affiliated group because they are members of an affiliated group comprising P, Q, R, and S, two of whose members, R and S, are affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards.

Example 6. T, U, V, and W are electing organizations. The governing instruments of U and V require them to adopt the positions on national legislative issues adopted by T, but do not require them to adopt the positions of any organization on any other legislative issues. The governing documents of W require it to adopt the positions of V on all legislative issues. Applying paragraph (b) of this section, it is determined that (1) T, U, V, and W are all members of an affiliated group; (2) no two of T, U, V, and W are affiliated by reason of interlocking governing boards; but (3) W is bound, under its governing instrument, by decisions of V on legislative issues that are not national legislative issues. Accordingly, T, U, V, and W do not constitute a limited affiliated group. Similarly, T, U, and V do not constitute a limited affiliated group. T, U, V, and W are an affiliated group under §56.4911-7.

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§56.6001-1   Notice or regulations requiring records, statements, and special returns.

(a) In general. The provisions of §53.6001-1 shall apply to any person subject to tax under chapter 41, subtitle D, of the Code, by treating each reference to chapter 42 in §53.6001-1 as a reference to chapter 41.

(b) Cross references. See §56.4911-6 for general information on records of lobbying expenditures. See §§56.4911-9(d) and 56.4911-10(f) for information that members of an affiliated group and a limited affiliated group, respectively, are to provide to other members of the group and to the Internal Revenue Service.

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§56.6011-1   General requirement of return, statement, or list.

Every organization liable for the tax imposed by section 4911(a) shall file an annual return with respect to the tax on the form prescribed by the Internal Revenue Service for that purpose and shall include the information required by the form and its instructions.

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§56.6011-4   Requirement of statement disclosing participation in certain transactions by taxpayers.

(a) In general. If a transaction is identified as a listed transaction or a transaction of interest as defined in §1.6011-4 of this chapter by the Commissioner in published guidance (see §601.601(d)(2) of this chapter), and the listed transaction or transaction of interest involves an excise tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code (relating to public charities), the transaction must be disclosed in the manner stated in such published guidance.

(b) Effective date. This section applies to listed transactions entered into on or after January 1, 2003. This section applies to transactions of interest entered into on or after November 2, 2006.

[T.D. 9350, 72 FR 43154, Aug. 3, 2007]

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§56.6060-1   Reporting requirements for tax return preparers.

(a) In general. A person that employs one or more tax return preparers to prepare a return or claim for refund of tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code, other than for the person, at any time during a return period, shall satisfy the record keeping and inspection requirements in the manner stated in §1.6060-1 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6107-1   Tax return preparer must furnish copy of return and claim for refund to taxpayer and must retain a copy or record.

(a) In general. A person who is a signing tax return preparer of any return or claim for refund of tax under Chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code shall furnish a completed copy of the return or claim for refund to the public charity and retain a completed copy or record in the manner stated in §1.6107-1 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6109-1   Tax return preparers furnishing identifying numbers for returns or claims for refund.

(a) In general. Each tax return or claim for refund for tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D prepared by one or more signing tax return preparers must include the identifying number of the preparer required by §1.6695-1(b) of this chapter to sign the return or claim for refund in the manner stated in §1.6109-2 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. Paragraph (a) of this section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6694-1   Section 6694 penalties applicable to tax return preparer.

(a) In general. For general definitions regarding section 6694 penalties applicable to preparers of tax returns or claims for refund of tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D see §1.6694-1 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. Paragraph (a) of this section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6694-2   Penalties for understatement due to an unreasonable position.

(a) In general. A person who is a tax return preparer of any return or claim for refund of excise tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) shall be subject to penalties under section 6694(a) of the Code in the manner stated in §1.6694-2 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6694-3   Penalty for understatement due to willful, reckless, or intentional conduct.

(a) In general. A person who is a tax return preparer of any return or claim for refund of tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) shall be subject to penalties under section 6694(b) of the Code in the manner stated in §1.6694-3 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78460, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6694-4   Extension of period of collection when tax return preparer pays 15 percent of a penalty for understatement of taxpayer's liability and certain other procedural matters.

(a) In general. For rules relating to the extension of period of collection when a tax return preparer who prepared a return or claim for refund for tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code pays 15 percent of a penalty for understatement of taxpayer's liability and procedural matters relating to the investigation, assessment and collection of the penalties under section 6694(a) and (b), the rules under §1.6694-4 of this chapter will apply.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78461, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6695-1   Other assessable penalties with respect to the preparation of tax returns or claims for refund for other persons.

(a) In general. A person who is a tax return preparer of any return or claim for refund of tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) shall be subject to penalties for failure to furnish a copy to the taxpayer under section 6695(a) of the Code, failure to sign the return under section 6695(b) of the Code, failure to furnish an identification number under section 6695(c) of the Code, failure to retain a copy or list under section 6695(d) of the Code, failure to file a correct information return under section 6695(e) of the Code, and negotiation of a check under section 6695(f) of the Code, in the manner stated in §1.6695-1 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78461, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.6696-1   Claims for credit or refund by tax return preparers.

(a) In general. For rules relating to claims for credit or refund by a tax return preparer who prepared a return or claim for refund for tax under chapter 41 of subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code, the rules under §1.6696-1 of this chapter will apply.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78461, Dec. 22, 2008]

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§56.7701-1   Tax return preparer.

(a) In general. For the definition of a tax return preparer, see §301.7701-15 of this chapter.

(b) Effective/applicability date. This section is applicable to returns and claims for refund filed, and advice provided, after December 31, 2008.

[T.D. 9436, 73 FR 78461, Dec. 22, 2008]

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