Restrictions Related to Political Activities

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Charities that use their resources for political activities must take certain restrictions into account.

As a rule, charitable organizations must devote all of their resources to their charitable activities, while public or private foundations must be created and administrated exclusively for charitable purposes.

However, if such an organization is involved in political activities, devotes substantially all of its resources to its charitable activities (or to its charitable purposes, in the case of a charitable foundation) and devotes only a portion of those resources to political activities, it is deemed to have devoted all of its resources to its charitable activities (or charitable purposes), provided those political activities:

  • are incidental to its charitable activities (or charitable purposes); and
  • do not include activities directly or indirectly supporting or opposing any political party or candidate for public office.

The term “political activity” includes the making of a gift to a qualified donee if it is reasonable to consider that it was given, among other purposes, to support the political activities of that donee.

Click Political Activities for instructions on how to complete the part of the Information Return for Registered Charities and Other Donees that deals with political activities. 

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