RPAC Legal & Tax Resources

The laws governing political action committees vary at the national, state and local levels. The resources below are designed to assist state and local REALTOR® Association staff navigate legal and tax guidelines regarding RPAC.

Questions? Contact Liz Demorest at 202-383-1030.

Resources

RPAC Online Posting Guidelines

RPAC and the Law Webinar Recording

What’s Kind about In-Kind Contributions?
Reference Document
Presentation

Cooperative Agreements

The National Association-State Association Political Contribution Collection And Cooperative Agreement describes respective responsibilities regarding the solicitation, collection and disbursements of RPAC funds. The State Association-Local Association Political Contribution Collection And Cooperative Agreement sets forth sample State and Local Association responsibilities in the solicitation, collection and disbursements of PAC funds in your state.

Federal Tax Return Filing Requirements for State PACs

State RPAC committees must comply with the annual IRS information and tax return filing requirements. Generally, a state PAC must file Federal Form 990 if it has gross receipts of $25,000 or more, or in some cases (that is, if it files reports with a state campaign finance agency that requires reporting certain information about PAC contributors and expenditures), if it has gross receipts of $100,000 or more. If the PAC has taxable income of more than $100 it must also file Federal Form 1120-POL and pay any tax due. Taxable income for a PAC is income other than contributions made to the PAC, such as investment income. Serious penalties for failing to file Form 990 may be imposed, including fines of up to $10,000 for each year the PAC fails to file Form 990 and 5% of any tax due for failure to file Form 1120-POL. State PACs must also file with the IRS Federal Form 8871 when they are formed and may be required also to file periodic reports on Form 8872 unless they are exempted from that requirement, which most State PACs will be. State PACs should also check on and comply with any state tax filing requirements as well.

State PACs should consult with their tax advisers for more information. See also the links below from the IRS website addressing these federal tax-filing requirements for political organizations, including State PACs:

Questions? Contact Ralph Holmen at 312-329-8375.

Sample Solicitation Notices for State & Local Fundraising

If the proceeds of the fundraising activity will be split with National RPAC but the solicitation does not include a suggested contribution amount: 

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. ____% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates; ___% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]

If the proceeds of the fundraising activity will be split with National RPAC and the solicitation contains a suggested contribution amount (such as in the case of dues billing): 

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. ____% of each contribution is used by your state PAC to support state and local political candidates; ___% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]

If the proceeds of the fundraising activity will be not split with National RPAC, and the state will retain 100% of the contributions: 

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]

For a “generic” (non-state specific) disclaimer where the contribution is split between the state PAC and National RPAC and a suggested contribution amount is provided, use the following:

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Your contribution is split between National RPAC and the State PAC in your state. Contact your State Association or PAC for information about the percentages of your contribution provided to National RPAC and to the State PAC. The National RPAC portion is used to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]

For a “generic” (non-state specific) disclaimer where the contribution is split between the state PAC and National RPAC and a suggested contribution amount is provided and a “click here” button can be used to advise the contributor of the percentages provided to each PAC, use the following:

Contributions to RPAC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amounts indicated are merely guidelines and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amounts. The National Association of REALTORS® and its state and local associations will not favor or disadvantage any member because of the amount contributed or a decision not to contribute. You may refuse to contribute without reprisal. Your contribution is split between National RPAC and the State PAC in your state. Click here [*] for the percentage of your contribution provided to National RPAC and to the State PAC. The National RPAC portion is used to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 52 U.S.C. 30116. [Add the state contribution solicitation notice, if any]