To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.An "action organization" as defined by the IRS:
Political activities and legislative activities (commonly referred to as lobbying) are two different things and are subject to two different sets of rules and have different consequences of exceeding the limitations. The rules applied in a given situation depend on several issues: The type of tax-exempt organization (different rules apply to private foundations than to other section 501(c)(3) organizations),CAIR says:
The type of activity (political or lobbying) at issue, and
The scope or amount of the activity conducted.
Government Affairs CAIR's government affairs department conducts and organizes lobbying efforts on issues related to Islam and Muslims. The department monitors legislation and government activities and responds on behalf of the American Muslim community. CAIR representatives have testified before Congress and have sponsored a number of activities designed to bring Muslim concerns to Capitol Hill.However CAIR is NOT a registered 527 organization. From it's own website:
© CAIR Foundation is a 501(c)(3) under federal tax guidelines. TAX ID: 77-0646756So since CAIR is not a 527 it falls under the "cannot participate in any endorsement or activity against any political candidate. What CAIR said in regards to Carson:
In an interview Monday morning on "CNN Newsroom," a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) argued that Carson is willfully ignoring Article VI of the Constitution, which states there will be “no religious test” for a candidate seeking public office. “If an individual clearly doesn’t abide by or care about the Constitution, I think that’s a disqualifier in terms of running for the nation’s highest office,” said Ibrahim Hooper. “So we’re calling for [Ben Carson] to withdraw from the race.”The underlined is where CAIR crossed the line into " may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates." I would add that it is a possibility that it's statement that it organizes lobbying efforts may also constitute a violation of 501c3 exemption requirements. Particularly:
it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activitiesSince CAIR states outright that lobbying is a part of their core vision, mission and principles One would have to ask how "substantial" these lobbying efforts are. Since they are willing to blatantly violate the "against political candidate" requirement, I say everything else is fair game for an investigation and their tax exempt status should be revoked for a period of time (I'd say until the end of the 2016 presidential election since that is the election they illegally tried to influence).