Using 501(c)(4)s in Politics and Advocacy: Risk and Compliance Issues

Ki P. Hong Emily M. Lam Charles M. Ricciardelli Tyler Rosen

On March 8 Skadden hosted “Using 501(c)(4)s in Politics and Advocacy: Risk and Compliance Issues.” Panelists included political law group practice head Ki P. Hong, Palo Alto office head and tax partner Emily M. Lam and political law counsel Charles M. Ricciardelli and Tyler Rosen. Topics of discussion included the types of activities 501(c)(4) organizations are used for, as well as their tax implications; why 501(c)(4) organizations present a heightened risk under linkage laws, such as the Honest Services Fraud provision; instances when 501(c)(4) organizations are required to disclose their donors; the point at which “dark money” becomes a legal problem for an organization and its donors; whether 501(c)(4) organizations can make political contributions and at what point the organizations become PACs; and considerations surrounding 501(c)(4) donations for companies subject to pay-to-play rules.