Advisory on Partisan Political Activities

By Maggie Zoske
September 8, 2015

Advisory on Partisan Political Activities

Since we are in an election period, we remind registered charities that they are prohibited from devoting any of their resources to partisan political activities. A partisan political activity is one that involves the direct or indirect support of, or opposition to, any political party at any time, whether during an election period or not, or a candidate for public office.

The prohibition on partisan political activity is a long-standing requirement under theIncome Tax Act. Charities are responsible for their resources, and must devote these resources to exclusively charitable purposes. Since they are well placed to study, assess, and comment on government policies that relate to their charitable programs, charities can engage in a limited amount of non-partisan political activities. However, charities that devote any resources to partisan political activities may no longer be eligible for registration. A charity’s resources include funds, property, and personnel (volunteers, employees, and directors).

Partisan political activity may include, but is not limited to:

The restrictions on partisan political activities do not prevent volunteers, employees, or directors of charities from:

Charities that use the Internet or social media to post information should ensure the information does not contain partisan political statements. Also, the information should not link to statements made by a third party that support or oppose a candidate or political party. Additionally:

When a charity invites comments on its website, blogs, or on social media, it should monitor them for partisan political statements and remove, edit, or moderate such statements within a reasonable time.

For more information on political activities, go to Resources for charities about political activities, including Policy Statement CPS-022, Political Activities, and Partisan political activities, or call the Charities Directorate at 1-800-267-2384.


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