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IRS deadline looms for candidates

By JIM ROSS

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 29, 2000


INVERNESS -- The primary election is about one month away, and people involved in Citrus County politics have plenty to do.

But political candidates, as well as the people who run political parties and local political action committees, might need to take time out and handle some additional paperwork soon -- very soon.

A new federal law that President Clinton signed July 1 requires certain candidates and party organizations to register with the Internal Revenue Service and possibly disclose to that agency all political contributions and expense activity.

The registration deadline is Monday. State and local non-federal candidates, state and county political parties and political action committees all must register if their annual receipts exceed -- or are reasonably expected to exceed -- $25,000, according to the state Division of Elections.

Prior to this law, most political campaigns and parties, as well as political action committees, did not have registration requirements with the IRS or pay income tax on their contributions, according to state elections officials.

However, Congress was concerned that many groups were improperly taking advantage of their Section 527 status to influence elections while avoiding the registration requirements that elections agencies place on traditional campaigns, political parties and political action committees, according to the state division of elections.

To close this loophole, Congress added the IRS reporting requirements. Failure to file could result in gross taxable receipts being taxed as income.

For information on how to comply with the IRS guidelines, call (877) 829-5500.

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