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IRS.gov Website
Publication 557
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199930

Reporting Requirements for a Political Organization(p14)

rule
Certain political organizations are required to notify the IRS that the organization is to be treated as a section 527 political organization. The organization is also required to periodically report certain contributions received and expenditures made by the organization. To notify the IRS of section 527 treatment, an organization must file Form 8871. To report contributions and expenditures, certain tax-exempt political organizations must file Form 8872.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199931

Form 8871(p14)

rule
A political organization must electronically file Form 8871 to notify the IRS that it is to be treated as a section 527 organization. However, an organization is not required to file Form 8871 if: All other political organizations are required to file Form 8871.
An organization must provide on Form 8871:
  1. Its name and address (including any business address, if different) and its electronic mailing address;
  2. Its purpose;
  3. The names and addresses of its officers, highly compensated employees, contact person, custodian of records, and members of its board of directors;
  4. The name and address of, and relationship to, any related entities (within the meaning of section 168(h)(4)); and
  5. Whether it intends to claim an exemption from filing Form 8872, Form 990, or Form 990-EZ.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199932
Employer identification number.(p14)
If your organization needs an EIN, you can apply for one:
If you previously applied for an EIN and have not yet received it, or you are unsure whether you have an EIN, please call our toll-free customer account services number, 1-877-829-5500, for assistance.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199933

Due dates.(p14)

rule
The initial Form 8871 must be filed within 24 hours of the date on which the organization was established. If there is a material change, an amended Form 8871 must be filed within 30 days of the material change. When the organization terminates its existence, it must file a final Form 8871 within 30 days of termination.
If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the organization can file on the next business day.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199934
How to file.(p14)
An organization must file Form 8871 electronically via the IRS Internet website at www.IRS.gov/polorgs (Keyword: political orgs).
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199935

Form 8453-X, Political Organization Declaration for Electronic Filing of Notice of Section 527 Status.(p14)

rule
After electronically submitting Form 8871, the political organization must print, sign, and mail Form 8453-X to the IRS. Upon receipt of the Form 8453-X, the IRS will send the organization a username and password that must be used to file an amended or final Form 8871 or to electronically file Form 8872.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199936

Penalties(p14)

rule
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199937
Failure to file.(p14)
An organization that is required to file Form 8871, but fails to do so on a timely basis, will not be treated as a tax-exempt section 527 organization for any period before the date Form 8871 is filed. Also, the taxable income of the organization for that period will include its exempt function income (including contributions received, membership dues, and political fundraising receipts) minus any deductions directly connected with the production of that income.
Failure to file an amended Form 8871 will cause the organization not to be treated as a tax-exempt section 527 organization. If an organization is treated as not being a tax-exempt section 527 organization, the taxable income of the organization will be determined by considering any exempt function income and deductions during the period beginning on the date of the material change and ending on the date that the amended Form 8871 is filed.
The tax is computed by multiplying the organization's taxable income by the highest corporate tax rate.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199938
Fraudulent returns.(p15)
Any individual or corporation that willfully delivers or discloses to the IRS any list, return, account, statement or other document known to be fraudulent or false as to any material matter will be fined not more than $10,000 ($50,000 in the case of a corporation) or imprisoned for not more than 1 year or both.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199939
Waiver of penalties.(p15)
The IRS may waive any additional tax assessed on an organization for failure to file Form 8871 if the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199940

Additional information.(p15)

rule
For more information on Form 8871, see the form and its instructions. For a discussion on the public inspection requirements for the form, see Public Inspection of Exemption Applications, Annual Returns, and Political Organization Reporting Forms, later.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199941

Form 8872(p15)

rule
Every tax-exempt section 527 political organization that accepts a contribution or makes an expenditure, for an exempt function during the calendar year, must file Form 8872 except: All other tax-exempt section 527 organizations that accept contributions or make expenditures for an exempt function are required to file Form 8872.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199942
Qualified state or local political organization.(p15)
A state or local political organization may be a QSLPO if:
  1. All of its political activities relate solely to state or local public office (or office in a state or local political organization).
  2. It is subject to a state law that requires it to report (and it does report) to a state agency information about contributions and expenditures that is similar to the information that the organization would otherwise be required to report to the IRS.
  3. The state agency and the organization make the reports publicly available.
  4. No federal candidate or office holder:
    1. Controls or materially participates in the direction of the organization,
    2. Solicits contributions for the organization, or
    3. Directs the disbursements of the organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199943

Information required on Form 8872.(p15)

rule
If an organization pays an individual $500 or more for the calendar year, the organization is required to disclose the individual's name, address, occupation, employer, amount of the expense, the date the expense was paid, and the purpose of the expense on Form 8872.
If an organization receives contributions of $200 or more from one contributor for the calendar year, the organization must disclose the donor's name, address, occupation, employer, and the date the contributions were made.
For additional information that is required, see Form 8872.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199944

Due dates.(p15)

rule
The due dates for filing Form 8872 vary depending on whether the form is due for a reporting period that occurs during a calendar year in which a regularly scheduled election is held, or any other calendar year (a nonelection year).
If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the organization can file on the next business day.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199945

Election year filing.(p15)

rule
In election years, Form 8872 must be filed on either a quarterly or a monthly basis. Both a pre-election report and a post-election report are also required to be filed in an election year. An election year is any year in which a regularly scheduled general election for federal office is held (an even-numbered year).
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199946

Nonelection year filing.(p15)

rule
In nonelection years, the form must be filed on a semiannual or monthly basis. A complete listing of these filing periods are in the Form 8872 Instructions. A nonelection year is any odd-numbered year.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199947

How to file.(p15)

rule
Form 8872 can be filed either electronically or by mail. However, organizations that have, or expect to have, contributions or expenditures of $50,000 or more for the year must file electronically.
Due date
To file by mail, send Form 8872 to the:



Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service Center
Ogden, UT 84201-0027


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Electronic filing.(p15)
File electronically via the IRS internet website at www.IRS.gov/polorgs. You will need a user ID and password to electronically file Form 8872. Organizations that have completed the electronic filing of Form 8871 and submitted a completed and signed Form 8453-X will receive a username and password in the mail.
Organizations that have completed the electronic filing of Form 8871, but have not received their user ID and password can request one by writing to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: Request for 8872 Password
Mail Stop 6273
Ogden, UT 84201


taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199950
Lost username and password.(p15)
If you have forgotten or misplaced the username and password issued to your organization after you filed your initial Form 8871, send a letter requesting a new username and password to the address under Electronic filing. You can also fax your request to (801) 620-3249. It may take 3-6 weeks for your new username and password to arrive, as they will be mailed to the organization.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199951

Penalty(p15)

rule
A penalty will be imposed if the organization is required to file Form 8872 and it:
The penalty is 35% of the total amount of contributions and expenditures to which a failure relates.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199952
Fraudulent returns.(p15)
Any individual or corporation that willfully delivers or discloses any list, return, account, statement, or other document known to be fraudulent or false as to any material matter will be fined not more than $10,000 ($50,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.
taxmap/pubs/p557-009.htm#en_us_publink1000199953
Waiver of penalties.(p15)
The IRS may waive any additional tax assessed on an organization for failure to file Form 8872 if the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.