Internal Revenue Code Section 506 Notice Requirement For 501(c)(4)s

Webinar: ID# 1023866
Recorded CD
About This Course:
An Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) ‘social welfare' organization gives greater flexibility than does a 501(c)(3) charity, but is also fraught with minefields (as demonstrated by the controversy surrounding the IRS' handling of exemption applications from ‘Tea Party' groups).

Recently, Congress and the IRS added another: A new 501(c)(4) generally must notify the IRS of its existence and intended activities or else face penalties and even loss or denial of its tax-exempt status.

This webinar helps the persons responsible for forming and operating 501(c)(4)s to understand how to complete the notice (IRS Form 8976) and how and when to file it. The content also explains other aspects of forming and operating a 501(c)(4) organization - for example, lobbying; electioneering; whether and how to file a Form 1024 exemption application; protection of donor lists; and issues with ‘affiliated' organizations like 501(c)(3)s and PACs.

Failing to have a system in place to file the Form 8976 notice and address these other issues can result in monetary penalties and, even worse, denial or revocation of tax-exempt status. This topic is critical for persons organizing and operating 501(c)(4)s so they can institute and operate the appropriate internal controls.


  • What Is a Section 501(c)(4) Organization?
  • What Are the Advantages/Disadvantages Relative to a Section 501(c)(3) Organization or PAC?
  • What Are the Controversies and What Prompted Congress to Act Here?
Complying With the New Notice Requirement
  • How Do We Complete Form 8976?
  • How Do We File Form 8976?
  • When Do We File Form 8976?
  • What Are the Penalties for Not Filing?
  • When Are We Excused From Filing?
Checklist for New 501(c)(4)s: How Does the Notice Requirement Fit in?
  • Forming a 501(c)(4)
  • Applying for Tax-Exempt Status (Federal Form 1024 and State Forms)
  • Filing Returns (Federal Form 990 and State Forms)
  • Non-Tax Filings (State Attorney General, Ballot Initiatives, etc.)
What Other Issues Are There for Operating a 501(c)(4)?
  • Electioneering
  • Lobbying
  • Donor Lists and Disclosure
  • Inter-Organizational Issues (501(c)(3)s, PACs, etc.)
Conclusion: Tax Reform and Prospects Under the New Administration
About The Presenter

Douglas W. Schwartz
  • Partner, Nossaman LLP, Los Angeles, California
  • Specializes in tax matters (international, federal, state, and local) as they affect individual and compensation planning; business formations, transactions, and operations; 501(c)(3) charities, section 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(25) holding companies, public pension systems, and other tax-exempt entities; and investments in different asset classes and investment vehicles
  • Has a comprehensive understanding of the complex local, state, and federal laws and regulations that affect personal and business taxes for a wide variety of industries, including entertainment, internet, manufacturing, real estate, sports, nonprofit, and public agencies, and including advice on sales and use tax; Proposition 13; documentary transfer; and local business license taxes in addition to income and franchise taxes
  • Conducts regular seminars and workshops on tax-exempt organizations (including “private foundation” versus “public charity” status, lobbying, and interorganizational structures); issues in forming and operating “small” businesses and start-ups (e.g., S corporations and LLCs; passive activity loss rules; research and development credit); art law (e.g., charitable contributions and issues pertaining to artists, galleries and collectors); and issues affecting employers (e.g., Affordable care Act compliance, and tax treatment and reporting of employee settlements)
  • Wrote articles in several publications including the NAPPA Report, Law360,, and California Trusts and Estates Quarterly on tax issues related to public pensions, art law the IRS, bitcoin and wealth management
  • Membership information: Los Angeles County Bar Association, secretary/vice chair/chair, Entertainment Tax Committee, Taxation Section, 1999-2003; Executive Committee member-at-large and chair of Annual Tax Night, 2004; third vice chair, 2005-2006; second vice chair, 2006-2007; first vice chair, 2007-2008; chair-elect, 2008-2009; chair, 2009-2010. State Bar of California, vice-chair/chair, Corporate Tax Committee, Taxation Section, 1994-1997; articles editor, California Tax Lawyer, 1997-2001; member, Executive Committee, Taxation Section, 1998-2000; vice chair, Executive Committee, Taxation Section, 2001. President, the Princeton Club of Southern California 2001-02
  • Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" in 2010 - 2015 by Los Angeles magazine; achieved the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • J.D. degree, Stanford Law School; B.A. degree, Princeton University
Internal Revenue Code Section 506 Notice Requirement For 501(c)(4)s
Available on CD format
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