What is a lobbying activity, and how to report them on Form 990?
49 views | Last modified 10/14/2021 4:00:38 AM EST | Added by ExpressTaxExempt Team

Lobbying is generally any attempt made by individuals or private interest groups to influence the government’s decisions. The activities intended by nonprofits to influence foreign, national, state, or local legislation are called lobbying activities

There are two types of lobbying activities - direct lobbying (attempting to influence the legislators) and grassroots lobbying (attempting to influence legislation by influencing the general public).

Reporting lobbying activities with ExpressTaxExempt’s Interview-based Filing Style

  1. Log into your ExpressTaxExempt account.
  2. On the dashboard, click on the "Start New Return" button
  3. Select the "Tax Year" and "Form 990" option on the list of Federal Returns
  4. Enter your organization details and click "Next."
  5. On the "Organization Tax Year" page, select the calendar or fiscal tax year you want to file the information return. Once done, the subsequent steps will be to fill the actual parts of the form.
  6. Under the More Information section, click "Start" in Lobbying Activities. You will be directed to the Lobbying Activities page.
  7. On that page, select "Yes" or "No" for the question, “Did the organization engage in lobbying activities or have a section 501(h) election in effect during the tax year?” and report your involvement in the lobbying activities.
  8. Click Next and follow the subsequent steps as prompted.
  9. Review the details, pay, and click the “Transmit” button to transmit your return to the IRS.

Reporting lobbying activities with ExpressTaxExempt’s Form-based Filing Style

While filing your Form 990 return with ExpressTaxExempt using the form-based filing style, please go to Part IX, line 11d. On this line, enter the following information needed on the respective columns. 

  1. (A)Total expenses
  2. (B) Program service expenses
  3. (C) Management and general expenses
  4. (D) Fundraising expenses

Reporting Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities

In addition to reporting lobbying activities, if you’re a Section 501(c)(3) organization and answered “Yes” to the question, “Did the organization engage in lobbying activities, or have a section 501(h) election in effect during the tax year?” on Part IV line 4, then you must complete Part II of Schedule C, Political Campaign and Lobbying Activities (Form 990 or 990-EZ).

However, Schedule C Part II-A must be filled only if your organization is exempt under section 501(c)(3) and filed Form 5768 (election under section 501(h)).

If your organization is exempt under section 501(c)(3) and has not filed Form 5768, it must complete only Part II-B of Schedule C.

To know how to report lobbying activities in Form 990-EZ, click here.

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