The Nonpartisan Analysis, Study, or Research Exception to IRS Lobbying Rules



Lobbying, Public Charity Advocacy

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The nonpartisan analysis, study, or research exception (“nonpartisan analysis exception”) is one of four categories of exceptions to the IRS definitions of lobbying communications. This means that although a communication may meet the definition of lobbying, your organization will not have to count it as a lobbying expense.

This fact sheet focuses on the nonpartisan analysis exception definition and highlights the rules about the subsequent use of these communications.

Why is the nonpartisan analysis exception important? Because when used carefully, it is a great way for nonprofits to maximize their advocacy while minimizing their lobbying expenses. Public charities will not need to count the costs of preparing truly educational materials, including those that express a view on legislation, as lobbying. Additionally, private foundations can use this exception as a way to discuss legislation without incurring a taxable expense.