Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.), A Tax Lesson for Election Law, 164 Tax Notes 2259 (Sept. 30, 2019):
This short article analyzes the complicated role that tax law plays in regulating campaign finance, using a request from the Price for Congress Committee as a case study. The Price Committee asked the Federal Election Commission for an Advisory Opinion approving transfer of its remaining campaign funds to a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. The piece first describes applicable campaign finance law and the FEC proceedings that ended in a deadlock. It next considers the advantages of transferring remaining campaign funds to a section 501(c)(4) organizations instead of a section 501(c)(3) charity. It cautions, however, that a transfer to a section 501(c)(4) could result in adverse tax consequences to the former candidate under section 527. This analysis exposes uncertainties in both federal election and tax law.
Now that the Federal Election Commission lacks a quorum, however, tax regulation of campaign finance has particular importance.