Imagine there is a law that mandates you cannot drive fast, but the speed limit is not posted: You have been given no definition of what it means to go fast. This is the situation charities face when it comes to political activity. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has failed to define what constitutes political activity, relying on the “facts and circumstances” of each case to decide whether an organization is participating in political activities.
This “facts and circumstances” approach has too often resulted in wildly different interpretations of what political activity is allowed, leaving charities confused and uncertain.
You can read Gary Bass and Tom Halloran’s full post on the NPT Blog.