NOTE: The reporting examples in this chapter are PDF files. To view these files, you'll need to download a free copy of Adobe Reader.
FEC paper forms should be typed; printing in ink is also acceptable as long as the forms are legible. Because filings will be photocopied several times before being placed on the public record, the documents filed with the Commission (or Secretary of the Senate, if appropriate) should be the originals. Committees submitting illegible documents will be required to refile.
The treasurer should not forget to retain a photocopy of each report filed with the Commission, along with the appropriate records, for three years.
Form 3X and Schedules
FEC Form 3X is the form used by party committees to disclose receipts and disbursements. The same form is used for all types of reports, including quarterly reports, semiannual reports, pre- and post-election reports and termination reports.
The Form 3X booklet contains:
• The Summary Page
• The Detailed Summary Page
• Schedule A—Itemized Receipts
• Schedule B—Itemized Disbursements
• Schedule C—Loans
• Schedule C-1—Loans and Lines of Credit from Lending Institutions
• Schedule D—Debts and Obligations
• Schedule E—Independent Expenditures
• Schedule F—Itemized Coordinated Party Expenditures
• Schedules H1-H6—Allocation of Federal Nonfederal and Levin Expenses (See Chapter 10 for information on the allocation schedules.)
• Schedules L, L-A and L-B. – Receipts and Disbursements of Levin Funds
Information entered on the Summary Page and Detailed Summary Page is based on information from the schedules. The schedules, therefore, are normally filled out first. The instructions in this chapter begin with Schedule A.
Committees filing with the FEC can take advantage of the electronic filing program. Reports can be filed electronically on a 3.5” diskette, via modem or via the Internet. For more information about electronic filing, including the mandatory electronic filing requirements that apply to some committees, Click here or contact the FEC.
While what follows in this chapter applies to both paper and electronic filers, electronic filers should consult their software providers for additional information.
A committee that files on paper may use computer-produced versions of the Schedules included in Form 3X, but they must first be submitted to the Commission for approval. This rule applies even if the committee is using commercial software advertised as approved for FEC reporting. 104.2(d). Committees may also submit computer-generated Summary and Detailed Summary Pages, but these pages must be reproductions of the original FEC forms. See AO 1992-11.
Alternatively, continuous-feed versions of the Summary Page and the Detailed Summary Page are available from the Commission for use in a computer printer.
The committee should send samples of its proposed forms and schedules to the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division. 104.2(d); FEC Directive 37.
Forms Available on Faxline and FEC Web Site
The reporting forms are available on the FEC’s fax-on-demand service, Faxline, at 202/501-3413. Below are the document numbers of the reporting forms for party political committees:
• Form 1—Statement of Organization—#801
• Form 3X—Financial Reporting for Unauthorized Committees—#804
• Schedule A—Itemized Receipts—#825
• Schedule B—Itemized Disbursements—#826
• Schedule C and C-1—Loans—#827
• Schedule D—Debts and Obligations—#828
· Schedule E— Independent Expenditures--#829
· Schedule F – Itemized Coordinated Party Expenditures -- #830
· Schedule H1-H6 – Allocation -- #831
· Schedules L, L-A, L-B – Aggregation Page, Receipts and Disbursements of Levin Funds -- #832
All FEC reporting forms are also available on the FEC web site (www.fec.gov/info/forms.shtml).
Regardless of Amount
Several types of receipts must be itemized on Schedule A regardless of amount. They include:
• Contributions from political committees and similar organizations;
• Transfers from other party committees and party organizations;
• Transfers from nonfederal accounts and of Levin funds;
• Loans received;
• Loan payments received; and
• Refunded contributions received from political committees.
A receipt in any of the following categories must be itemized if it exceeds $200 per calendar year, either by itself or when aggregated with other receipts from the same source:
• Contributions from individuals and groups other than political committees;
• Offsets to operating expenditures (rebates, refunds and returns of deposits); and
• Other receipts (such as interest and dividends earned on invested funds).
Itemizing Receipts When Not Required
A committee that chooses to itemize all its receipts, regardless of the $200 threshold, should use a separate Schedule A to itemize the small contributions (i.e., receipts that do not aggregate over $200). The committee should include those receipts in the total for Line 11a(ii) on the Detailed Summary Page (Click here).
Before beginning to itemize the committee’s receipts, separate them into the different categories listed on the Detailed Summary Page (“Contributions from Individuals,” “Contributions from Political Committees,” etc.; an illustration of a completed Detailed Summary Page appears here). The receipts in each category must be itemized on a separate Schedule A designated for that category.
Indicate the type of receipt itemized on a particular Schedule A by entering the corresponding line number from the Detailed Summary Page where indicated in the upper right corner of the schedule. The appropriate category of receipt may also be written at the top of each page.
Some categories may require several pages. The total for each category should be entered on the bottom line of the last page for that category.
For each itemized receipt, provide:
• The full name and address (including zip code) of the contributor or other source;
• The name of the contributor’s employer (if the contributor is an individual);
• The contributor’s occupation (if the contributor is an individual);
• The date of receipt;
• The amount;
• The aggregate, year-to-date total of all receipts (within the same category) from the same source. 104.3(a)(4); and
• The committee ID number of the contributor, if appropriate.
(The space indicating the election for which a contribution is made (“Receipt For”) should be left blank by a party committee unless the receipt is a refund of a contribution made to a candidate.)
Special Employer Information
If a contributor is self-employed, that should be recorded in the Employer space. If a contributor is not employed, the Employer space should be left blank, but the Occupation space should always be completed (e.g., “unemployed,” “retired,” “homemaker”).
Best Efforts Required
Apply “best efforts” to obtain and report the information listed above. Click here for information.
When determining whether to itemize an in-kind contribution, follow the same guidelines listed under “When to Itemize Receipts." Click here for information on how to determine the dollar value of an in-kind contribution.
In addition, add the value of the in-kind contribution to the operating expenditures total on Line 21b (in order to avoid inflating the cash-on-hand amount). 104.13(a)(2).
When a committee receives an in-kind contribution whose value may appreciate over time, such as stock or artwork, special reporting rules apply:
• Itemize the initial gift, if necessary, as a memo entry on Schedule A. Under “Amount,” report the fair market value of the contribution on the date the item was received. (Reminder: the amount is subject to the $10,000 contribution limit.) Do not include that amount in the total for Line 11a(i) on the Detailed Summary Page.
• Once the item is sold, report the sale price as a contribution on Line 11a(i) if the purchaser is known or as an “other receipt” on Line 15 if the purchaser is unknown. Itemize the transaction on Schedule A if necessary. 104.13(b). See also AO 1989-6.
A joint contribution is made by a single check (or other written instrument) that bears two signatures. A check with one signature may also be a joint contribution if an accompanying form or letter, signed by both contributors, instructs the committee to treat it as a joint contribution. (A check drawn on a joint bank account but signed by only one person does not qualify as a joint contribution absent an accompanying form or letter. Attribute the full amount of such a check only to the person who signed it. Alternatively, the committee may reattribute the contribution using the procedures described below.)
For the purposes of itemization, report a joint contribution as though the joint contributors had given separately.
A joint contribution is itemized in the illustration (entries A and B). The committee received a $1,000 check from Mr. and Mrs. Jellineck, signed by both. Because there were no instructions as to how to attribute the check, the committee must divide it equally between the two spouses—$500 from each. 110.1(k)(2).
This section describes how to report contributions for which the committee has requested reattributions from contributors.
Receipt of Original Contribution
When itemizing a contribution that must be reattributed to correct an excessive amount, include a statement on Schedule A noting that a reattribution has been requested. 103.3(b)(5).
Receipt of Reattribution
In the report covering the period during which the reattribution is received, itemize as memo entries:
• Information on the contribution as it was previously disclosed; and
• Information on the contribution as it was reattributed, including the date the reattribution was received. 104.8(d)(3).
(Memo entries are explained below.)
Refund of Excessive Portion
the committee does not receive the reattribution, the committee must refund the
excessive portion within 60 days of the treasurer’s receipt of the
contribution. Disclose the refund on the next report. 103.3(b)(3)
and (5); 104.8(d)(4). See also “Refunds Made by
the Committee. "
Use a memo entry on a schedule (a dollar amount with the designation “memo”) to provide information about a particular transaction when the amount of that transaction is not to be included in the total figure for that schedule (and the corresponding line number on the Detailed Summary Page). For example, a memo entry is used to disclose a reattribution of a contribution whose dollar amount has already been included in the total for Line 11.
If a committee reports the receipt of a check and later finds it cannot be negotiated because of insufficient funds in the donor’s account, the committee deducts the amount from its next report as follows:
• If the receipt was not itemized in a previous report, deduct the amount of the check from the total for unitemized contributions (Line 11a(ii)) on the Detailed Summary Page).
• If the receipt was itemized previously, itemize the return of the check as a negative entry on a Schedule A for the appropriate line number.
Checks received and returned by the bank in the same reporting period do not need to be reported.
A negative entry is usually shown as a dollar amount in parentheses. The amount is always deducted from the total for that schedule (and the corresponding line number on the Detailed Summary Page). A negative entry is used, for example, when a contributor’s check bounces or is returned to the contributor without having been deposited in the committee’s account.
Listed below are the categories of receipts found on the Detailed Summary Page. For each category, enter a total for the current period and for the year to date.
Line 11. Contributions
Report total monetary and in-kind contributions received, both itemized and unitemized.
Line 11a: Contributions from Individuals and Other Groups
Use Line 11a to report contributions from individuals and groups other than political committees (such as partnerships).
Itemize contributions that exceed the $200 aggregate threshold on Schedule A; enter the total on Line 11a(i). Enter total unitemized contribution on Line 11a(ii). Enter total itemized and unitemized contributions from individuals/others on Line 11a(iii).
Line 11b: Political Party Committees
Leave this line blank: party committees report funds received from other party committees and party organizations as transfers-in on Line 12; see below.
Line 11c: Other Political Committees
Itemize contributions from nonparty political committees on Schedule A, regardless of amount, and enter the total on Line 11c.
Line 11d: Total Contributions
Enter the total of Lines 11a–c on Line 11d.
Line 12. Transfers-In
Itemize any transfers of funds received from other party committees or party organizations on a Schedule A (see example). Enter the total on Line 12.
Line 13. Loans Received
Itemize any loans received on a Schedule A. Enter the total amount on Line 13. Committees receiving loans must also file Schedules C and C-1. Click here for more information.
Line 14. Loan Repayments Received
Itemize any repayments received on loans made by the committee on a Schedule A. Enter the total on Line 14. Committees receiving loan repayments must also file Schedule C. Click here.
Line 15. Offsets to Operating Expenditures
Refunds, rebates and returns of deposits are considered offsets to operating expenditures. Itemize offsets on a Schedule A once the committee receives more than $200 from the same source during a calendar year (see example). Enter the total on Line 15.
Line 16. Refunds of Contributions
Itemize refunds of contributions made by the committee on a Schedule A regardless of their amount. Enter the total on Line 16. Click here.
Line 17. Other Federal Receipts
This category includes interest and dividends earned on investments. Itemize these receipts on a Schedule A once the committee receives more than $200 from the same source during a calendar year. Enter the total under this category on Line 17. Click here for more information on interest and dividends.
Line 18. Transfers from Nonfederal Account and Levin Funds
If the committee maintains a nonfederal account for state and local election activities, or a Levin account for federal election activity (FEA), the committee (i.e., the federal or allocation account) may accept funds transferred by the nonfederal or Levin account in order to pay its share of certain allocable expenses. 106.7(f)(1) and 300.33(d)(1). Report the total amount transferred from the nonfederal or Levin account during the period (i.e., the total from Schedule H3 or H5) on Line 18.
When to Itemize Disbursements
Regardless of Amount
The disbursements listed below must be itemized, regardless of amount, on Schedule B (or indicated schedule):
• Shared federal/nonfederal operating expenditures (itemized on Schedule H4—see Chapter 10);
• Expenditures for allocated FEA;
• Contributions to candidates and political committees;
• Coordinated party expenditures (itemized on Schedule F);
• Loan repayments;
• Loans made by the committee; and
• Transfers to other party committees and party organizations.
Note that refunds of contributions (Line 26 of the Detailed Summary Page) must be itemized on Schedule B only if the incoming contribution had to be itemized on Schedule A, as explained below.
Other Disbursements: $200 Threshold
A disbursement that does not fall under one of the categories listed above (such as a federal operating expenditure or an independent expenditure) must be itemized if it exceeds $200 when aggregated with other disbursements made to the same payee during the calendar year. (Please note that independent expenditures are itemized on Schedule E.)
How to Itemize Disbursements
Separate Categories of Disbursements
Before beginning to itemize the committee’s disbursements, separate them into the different categories listed on the Detailed Summary Page (“Operating Expenditures,” “Contributions to Federal Candidates,” etc.; an illustration of a completed Detailed Summary Page appears here). The disbursements in each category must be itemized on a separate Schedule B designated for that category.
Indicate the type of disbursement itemized on a particular Schedule B by entering the corresponding line number from the Detailed Summary Page in the upper right corner of the schedule. The appropriate category of disbursement may also be written at the top of each page.
Some categories may require several pages. The total for each category should be entered on the bottom line of the last page for that category.
Itemized disbursement information includes:
• Name of payee;
• Address of payee;
• Purpose of disbursement (a brief but specific description of why the disbursement was made—see Schedule B instructions and 104.3(b)(3)(i)(B));
• Date of payment; and
• Amount. 104.3(b)(3); 104.9.
Contributions to Candidates: Additional Information
Further information is required when itemizing a contribution to a candidate committee on Schedule B. Include the candidate’s name and the office sought (including the state and, if applicable, Congressional district). When itemizing a contribution or loan to a candidate committee, specify the election for which the payment was made by checking the appropriate category in the election designation box. 104.3(b)(3)(v). See illustration.
Redesignations of Contributions
Use memo entries to show any redesignations of contributions made (explained here).
If a contribution to a candidate is redesignated for a different election after the close of books, show the redesignation on the next report and indicate the report on which the original contribution was itemized.
In this illustration, the committee originally made a $10,000 contribution to a candidate’s campaign, intending half of it to count toward the general election. The committee itemized the contribution in its year-end report. Later, the campaign requested that the committee redesignate the excessive $5,000 for the general election campaign. The committee itemized the redesignation in its April quarterly report.
Line-by-line instructions for filling out the Disbursements portion of the Detailed Summary Page are given below. See previous page for information on how to itemize disbursements on Schedule B.
More information on reporting loans, debts and independent expenditures appears later in this chapter.
Line 21. Operating Expenditures
Line 21a: Allocated Federal/Nonfederal Activity
Report the total federal and nonfederal portions of shared operating expenditures separately on Lines 21a(i) and (ii). The numbers are taken from the bottom of Schedule H4. Line 21a is not used if the committee maintains only one account for federal and nonfederal activities or if the committee is not involved in nonfederal election activities.
Line 21b: Other Federal Operating Expenditures
Report all operating expenditures other than shared operating expenditures on Line 21b.
Itemize them on a Schedule B for Line 21b once payments to any payee exceed $200 in a calendar year.
Line 21c: Total Operating Expenditures
Report the total of Lines 21a and 21b on Line 21c.
Line 22. Transfers-Out
Itemize transfers to party committees and party organizations, regardless of amount, on a Schedule B for Line 22. Enter the total from that schedule on the Detailed Summary Page.
Line 23. Contributions to Federal Candidates and Other Political Committees
Itemize all monetary and in-kind contributions made to candidate committees and other federal political committees, regardless of amount, on a Schedule B for Line 23. Report the total from that schedule on the Detailed Summary Page. An example of an itemized contribution to a candidate is provided here.
Line 24. Independent Expenditures
Disclose independent expenditures on Schedule E (Click here). Enter the Schedule E total of itemized and unitemized independent expenditures on Line 24.
Line 25. Coordinated Party Expenditures
Disclose coordinated party expenditures on Schedule F (Click here). Enter the Schedule F total on Line 25.
Line 26. Loan Repayments
Click here for information on how to itemize the payments on Schedules B and C. Enter the total paid on loans on Line 26.
Line 27. Loans Made
Click here for information on how to report loans made by the committee on Schedules B and C. Enter the total amount loaned during the period on Line 27.
Line 28. Refunds of Contributions
Itemize a refund made by the committee only if the original contribution was itemized. Other rules for reporting contribution refunds made by the committee are described here. Enter the total amount refunded during the period on Line 28.
Line 29. Other Disbursements
“Other disbursements” include donations made by the committee to nonfederal candidates and committees. Itemize “other disbursements” on a Schedule B for Line 29 when they exceed $200 to the same payee during a calendar year. Enter the total of itemized and unitemized other disbursements on the Detailed Summary Page.
Line 30. Federal Election Activity
State, district and local party committees making disbursements for FEA must enter figures on Line 30.
Line 30(a): Allocated Federal Election Activity
Report the total federal and Levin portions of allocated federal election activity separately on Lines 30(a)(i) and (ii). The numbers are taken from Schedule H6.
Line 30(b): FEA Paid Entirely with Federal Funds
Expenditures of $200 or more for FEA which are made entirely with federal funds must be itemized on Line 30(b).
Line 30(c): Total Federal Election Activity
Report the total of Lines 30(a) and 30(b) on Line 30(c).
For further information on FEA, see below and in chapter 8. For information on allocating these disbursements, see chapter 13.
Refunds Made by the Committee
When a committee refunds a contribution to a donor, the committee must include the disbursement in the total for the appropriate category of refund on the Detailed Summary Page (Line 28(a), (b) or (c)). If the committee previously itemized the incoming contribution on Schedule A, then it must itemize the refund on a Schedule B for the appropriate line number. 104.8(d)(4).
(A committee may return a contribution to the donor without depositing it, although the return must be made within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt of the contribution. 103.3(a). In this case, the committee does not have to report either the receipt or the return of the contribution.)
Refunds Received by the Committee
If a committee receives a refund of a contribution it has made, it must report the refund in one of two ways, depending on the circumstances described below. 104.8(d)(4).
Original Check Not Deposited
If a check to a candidate committee or other political committee is not deposited (e.g., if it is returned uncashed or is lost), report the amount as a negative entry on a Schedule B for Line 23, “Contributions to Federal Candidates and Other Political Committees.” (The amount is subtracted from the total for Line 23.)
Refunded by Recipient’s Check
If the recipient committee deposits the contribution and then refunds it with its own check, itemize the refund, regardless of amount, on a Schedule A for Line 16, “Refunds of Contributions.”
When a volunteer or a committee staff member uses his or her personal funds or personal credit to pay a vendor for an expense and is later reimbursed by the committee, special reporting rules apply.
Travel Expenses Reimbursed Within 30 or 60 Days
No contribution results when the committee reimburses a volunteer or staff member for travel expenses within the following time periods:
• If the individual paid with cash or a personal check, within 30 days from the date the expense was incurred.
• If the individual paid with a credit card, within 60 days of the closing date on the credit card billing statement. 116.5(b).
Reimbursed Within Time Limit and in Same Reporting Period
When the committee makes a reimbursement within these time limits, the committee reports the advance and reimbursement as follows:
• The original advance is not reported; and
• The reimbursement is reported as an operating expenditure on Line 17. AO 1992–1.
Reimbursed Within Time Limit but in Later Reporting Period
Note that, if the reimbursement is made within the appropriate time limit but not within the reporting period in which the advance was made, the committee must report the advance on Schedule D as a debt if it exceeds $500. Once the reimbursement is actually made, the committee reports it as an operating expenditure and itemizes it on Schedule B if reimbursements to any one person exceed $200 for the election cycle.
Travel Advances Not Reimbursed Within 30 or 60 Days
Not Reimbursed Within Time Limit but Within Same Reporting Period
Travel advances that are not reimbursed within the appropriate 30 or 60 day time limit (116.5(b)) but that are reimbursed within the reporting period in which the advance is made are considered contributions and must be reported as follows:
• Report the original advance as a memo entry contribution on Schedule A if the total of the advance plus any other contributions made by the same person within the election cycle, minus any reimbursements made in the reporting period, exceeds $200; and
• Report the reimbursement as an operating expenditure and, if reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize it on Schedule B (with a cross-reference to the memo entry on Schedule A for the advance—if the advance was itemized).
Not Reimbursed Within Time Limit and Not Within Same Reporting Period
Travel advances that are not reimbursed within the appropriate 30 or 60 day time limit (116.5(b)) and that are not reimbursed within the reporting period in which the advance was made must be reported as follows:
• Report the original advance as a memo entry contribution on Schedule A if the total of the advance plus any other contributions made by the same person within the election cycle, minus any reimbursements made in the reporting period, exceeds $200;
• Report the amount of the advance outstanding at the end of the reporting period as a debt on Schedule D if it exceeds $500 or has been outstanding for more than 60 days; and
• Report the reimbursement as an operating expenditure and, if reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize it on Schedule B (with a cross-reference to the memo entry on Schedule A for the advance—if the advance was itemized).
Nontravel Advances Made and Reimbursed Within Same Reporting Period
Nontravel advances that are made and reimbursed within the same reporting period are considered contributions and must be reported as follows:
• Do not report the original advance unless, at the end of the reporting period, the amount of previous contributions in the election cycle from the person making the advance plus the amount of the advance minus the amount of the reimbursement is greater than $200 (i.e., previous contributions + the advance - the reimbursement > $200). In that case, report the advance as a memo entry contribution on Schedule A; and
• Report the reimbursement as an operating expenditure and, if reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize it on Schedule B (with a cross-reference to the memo entry on Schedule A for the advance—if the advance was itemized). AO 1992-1.
Nontravel Advances Made and Reimbursed in Different Reporting Periods
Nontravel advances that are to be reimbursed in a later reporting period must be reported as follows:
• Do not report the original advance unless, at the end of the reporting period, the amount of previous contributions in the election cycle from the person making the advance plus the amount of the advance minus the amount of the reimbursement is greater than $200 (i.e. previous contributions + the advance - the reimbursement > $200). In that case, report the advance as a memo entry contribution on Schedule A;
• Report the amount of the advance outstanding at the end of the reporting period as a debt on Schedule D if it exceeds $500 or has been outstanding for more than 60 days (see example at left); and
• Report the reimbursement, once made, as an operating expenditure and, if reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize it on Schedule B (with a cross-reference to the memo entry on Schedule A for the advance—if the advance was itemized). See AO 1992-1.
Special Rule for Reporting Reimbursements to Staff (for Travel and Subsistence Advances)
If the total amount reimbursed to the staff member is $500 or less, the committee should report the staff member as the payee. If the total amount exceeds $500 and payments to any one vendor used for the expenses total over $200 for the election cycle, additional information is required to achieve full disclosure. In this instance the committee must:
• Report the staff member as payee; and
• Report the payments aggregating over $200 to any one vendor as memo entries on Schedule B. See AO 1996-20, footnote 3.
When the committee invests funds in a savings account, money market fund, certificate of deposit or similar type of account, the principal deposited must be included in the committee’s cash-on-hand total. (Investment properties, such as shares of stock, are not included in cash on hand.) The committee does not report this type of investment as a disbursement because the money is still a committee asset. 104.3(a)(1); AO 1990-2.
Report investment income received or lost during the reporting period in the “Other Receipts” category (Line 17) of the Detailed Summary Page. If investment income from one source aggregates over $200 during a calendar year, itemize the interest on a Schedule A for Line 17. 104.3(a)(4)(vi). Losses are indicated by negative entries. (See “Interest and Dividends.")
Include income taxes paid by the committee as other disbursements on Line 21. Itemize income tax payments on Schedule B only if they aggregate over $200 per year to the same payee—i.e., the local, state or federal government.
Itemize all coordinated party expenditures on Schedule F. (See example.) Enter the Schedule F total on Line 25 of the Detailed Summary Page.
A state party committee that has designated other party committees to make coordinated party expenditures must ensure that the designated party groups do not exceed the expenditure limits for the candidates supported (Click here). To this end, the FEC recommends the reporting method outlined below, although a committee may use its own method of controlling and reporting coordinated party expenditures made by designated agents if the method receives advance approval from the FEC. 109.33(b).
Under the recommended method, each designated party committee itemizes its coordinated party expenditures on Schedule F. The committee files Schedule F with its own report but also forwards a copy to the designating party committee.
The designating committee, in addition to filing its own Schedule F, attaches those forwarded by designated agents as memo entries. (The memo entry expenditures are not included in the Line 25 total on the Detailed Summary Page.)
24 Hour Reporting
Coordinated party expenditure limits are increased for House and Senate candidates when their opponent’s personal spending exceeds their own by certain threshold amounts. Each time a national or state political party committees makes coordinated expenditures in excess of the normal limits, it must notify the Commission (via fax or e-mail) and the candidate on whose behalf the expenditure is made within 24 hours, using Schedule F. Be sure to include the expenditure in the next regularly scheduled FEC report. 11 CFR §400.30(c)(2).
Check the box at the top of Schedule F to indicate that it is a 24 hour notice. Also, when disclosing expenditures made under modified limits, check the box on Schedule F to indicate this.
Itemize any independent expenditure which, by itself or when added to other independent expenditures made to the same payee during the same calendar year, exceeds $200. The date that a communication is publicly disseminated serves as the date that a committee must use to determine whether the total amount of independent expenditures has, in the aggregate, reached or exceeded the threshold reporting amount of $200.
Independent expenditures are itemized on Schedule E. A subtotal for itemized independent expenditures is entered on Line (a). Independent expenditures made prior to payment should be disclosed as memo entries on Schedule E and on Schedule D as a reportable debt under 104.11.
Independent expenditures of $200 or less do not need to be itemized, though the committee must report the subtotal of those expenditures on Line (b). 104.3(b)(3)(vii)(C) and 104.4(a).
Enter the total of itemized and unitemized independent expenditures on Line (c) of Schedule E and on Line 24 of the Detailed Summary Page.
48-Hour Independent Expenditure Notices
Political committees and other persons who make independent expenditures at any time during a calendar year—up to and including the 20th day before an election—must disclose this activity within 48 hours each time that the expenditures aggregate $10,000 or more. This reporting requirement is in addition to the requirement to file 24-hour notices of independent expenditures each time that disbursements for independent expenditures aggregate at or above $1,000 during the last 20 days—up to 24-hours--before an election. 2 U.S.C. §§434(b), (d) and (g). For information on such last-minute independent expenditure reports, see below.
Note: expenditures that have already been disclosed in a previous report do not have to be included on the 48-hour notice.
Independent expenditures aggregating less than $10,000.
Committees must report on Schedule E independent expenditures that aggregate less than $10,000 with respect to a given election during the calendar year that are made up to and including the 20th day before an election. The report must be filed no later than the filing date of the committee’s next regularly-scheduled report. 11 CFR 104.4(a) and (b)(1).
Independent expenditures aggregating $10,000 and above.
Once an individual’s or committee’s independent expenditures reach or exceed $10,000 in the aggregate at any time up to and including the 20th day before an election, they must be reported within 48 hours of the date that the expenditure is publicly distributed. All 48-hour reports must be filed with and received by the Commission at the end of the second day after the independent expenditure is publicly distributed. Electronic filers must file these reports electronically. Paper filers may file by fax or email. Additionally, electronic filers and paper filers may file 48-hour reports using the FEC web site’s online program.11 CFR 104.4(b)(2), 109.10(c) and 100.19(d)(3).
Aggregating independent expenditures for reporting purposes.
Independent expenditures are aggregated toward the various reporting thresholds on a per-election and per-office sought basis within the calendar year. Consider, as examples, the following scenarios, all of which occur outside of the 20-day window before an election when 24-hour notices are required:
If a committee makes $5,000 in independent
expenditures with respect to a Senate candidate, and $5,000 in independent
expenditures with respect to a House candidate, then the committee is not
required to file 48
If the committee makes $5,000 in independent
expenditures with respect to a clearly-identified candidate in the primary, and
an additional $5,000 in independent expenditures with respect to the same
candidate in the general, then again no 48
If the committee makes $6,000 in independent
expenditures supporting a Senate candidate in the primary election and $4,000
opposing that Senate candidate’s opponent in the same election, then the committee
must file a 48
The date that a communication is publicly disseminated serves as the date that a committee must use to determine whether the total amount of independent expenditures has, in the aggregate, reached or exceeded the threshold reporting amounts of $10,000. Independent expenditures publicly disseminated prior to payment should be disclosed as memo entries on Schedule E and on Schedule D as a reportable debt under 104.11. A 48-hour notice is required for each additional $10,000 in aggregate expenditures.
The calculation of the aggregate amount of the independent expenditures must include both disbursements for independent expenditures and all contracts obliging funds for disbursements of independent expenditures. 11 CFR 104.4(f). Expenditures that have already been disclosed in a previous report do not have to be included on the 48-hour notice.
Last-Minute Independent Expenditure Reports (24 Hour Notices)
Any independent expenditures aggregating $1,000 or more and made after the 20th day but more than 24 hours before the day of an election must be reported and the report must be received within 24 hours after the expenditure is made. A 24-hour notice is required for each additional $1,000 that aggregates. The 24-hour report must be filed on a Schedule E. Twenty-four hour reports must be filed with the appropriate federal and state filing offices. 104.4(c) and 104.5(g). The date that a communication is publicly disseminated serves as the date that a committee must use to determine whether the total amount of independent expenditures has, in the aggregate, reached or exceeded the threshold reporting amount of $1,000.
The committee must report a last-minute expenditure a second time on a Schedule E filed with its next regular report. 104.4(a).
Electronic filers must file these reports electronically, and paper filers may file by fax or email. Additionally, electronic filers and paper filers may file 24-hour reports using the FEC web site’s online program. 11 CFR 104.4(c) and 109.10(d).
All 24 and 48
For reports filed on paper, the treasurer must sign the Schedule E. For reports filed by email, the treasurer should type his or her name on the Schedule E following the certification.
Continuously itemize all loans received and made by the committee until they are repaid. All repayments made or received on a loan must also be itemized. 104.3(a)(4)(iv); 104.3(b)(3)(iii) and (vi); 104.3(d); 104.11. Procedures for reporting loans and loan repayments are explained below.
Reminder: Loans are considered contributions to the extent of the outstanding balance of the loan. 100.52(b)(2). Loans from banks, however, are not considered contributions if made in the ordinary course of business. Endorsements and guarantees of bank loans, however, do count as contributions. 100.52(b)(3) and 100.82(c).
Loans Received by the Committee
Schedule A: Initial Receipt of Loan
Itemize the receipt of a loan, regardless of amount, on a separate Schedule A for Line 13 (“Loans Received”).
Schedule B: Interest and Principal Payments
Report the interest paid on a loan as an operating expenditure, itemizing the payment on a Schedule B for Line 21(b) (“Operating Expenditures”) once interest payments to the payee aggregate over $200 in a calendar year. 100.111(b) and 104.3(b)(3)(i).
Payments to reduce the principal must be itemized, regardless of amount, on a separate Schedule B for Line 26 (“Loan Repayments Made”). 104.3(b)(3)(iii).
Schedule C: Continuous Reporting
In addition, report both the original loan and payments made to repay the loan on Schedule C each reporting period until the loan is repaid. 104.3(d) and 104.11. Instructions on the back of Schedule C explain what information must be disclosed. Use separate Schedule C forms to itemize loans received and loans made.
The Schedule C balance of the total amount owed on loans is entered on Line 10 of the Summary Page (“Debts and Obligations Owed by the Committee”) or, if the committee has other debts, the balance is carried over to Schedule D.
Schedule C-1: Additional Information for Bank Loans
A committee that obtains a loan from a bank must also file Schedule C-1 with the first report due after a new loan or line of credit has been established. 104.3(d)(1). A new Schedule C-1 must also be filed with the next report if the terms of the loan or line of credit are restructured.
Additionally, in the case of a committee that has obtained a line of credit, a new Schedule C-1 must be filed with the next report whenever the committee draws on the line of credit. 104.3(d)(1) and (3).
Line-by-line instructions for filling out the schedule appear on the back of Schedule C-1. The committee treasurer or designated assistant treasurer must sign the schedule on Line G and attach a copy of the loan agreement. 104.3(d)(2).
Finally, an authorized representative of the lending institution must sign the statement on Line I.
Schedule D: Debt and Obligations Excluding Loans
committee that fails to make interest payments on a loan must report the
accumulated unpaid interest as a debt on Schedule D (see page 45). See
Loans Made by the Committee
Schedule B: Outgoing Loan
When making a loan to another organization, itemize the disbursement, regardless of amount, on a Schedule B for Line 27 (“Loans Made”). 104.3(b)(3)(vi).
Schedule A: Interest and Principal Payments Received
Report interest received on a loan on a Schedule A for Line 17 (“Other Receipts”) if the payments aggregate over $200 from the same source during the calendar year.
Itemize payments received that reduce the principal owed on a separate Schedule A for Line 14 (“Loan Repayments Received”).
Schedule C: Continuous Reporting
The original amount loaned and repayments received on it must be itemized on Schedule C each reporting period until the loan is repaid in full. Schedule C instructions (see back of schedule) explain what information must be disclosed. (Note that separate Schedule C forms are used to itemize loans received and loans made. Filers should label the forms accordingly.)
The Schedule C balance of the total outstanding loans owed to a committee is entered on Line 9 of the Summary Page (“Debts and Obligations Owed to the Committee”) unless other types of debts are owed to the committee. In that case, the Schedule C total is carried over to Schedule D.
Unpaid bills and written contracts or agreements to make expenditures are considered debts. 100.112. Report debts and obligations (other than loans) on Schedule D according to the following rules:
• A debt of $500 or less is reportable once it has been outstanding 60 days from the date incurred (the date of the transaction, not the date the bill is received). The debt is disclosed on the next regularly scheduled report.
• A debt exceeding $500 must be reported on the next report filed after the debt is incurred. 104.3(d); 104.11.
Use separate Schedule D forms for debts owed by the committee and debts owed to the committee. Label each schedule accordingly.
Regularly recurring administrative expenses, like rent and salaries, do not have to be treated as debts until payment is due. 104.11(b); see 116.6(c).
Debts Owed by the Committee
Use Schedule D to report:
• The outstanding amount owed on a debt or obligation including any unpaid interest accrued on a debt; and
• Payments made to reduce the debt.
Schedule D instructions explain what additional information is required.
Enter the Schedule D total of outstanding debts, plus the balance of loans owed by the committee (carried over from Schedule C, as explained above) on Line 10 of the Summary Page. Note that payments to reduce debts must also be reported under the appropriate category of disbursement on the Detailed Summary Page (for example, Line 21(b) for a payment on a bill for an operating expenditure).
Settlement of Debts
Special rules apply to debts that are forgiven or settled for less than their full amount. Click here for more information.
Special Debt Reporting Problems
Debts of Unknown Amount
If the exact amount of a debt is not known, report the estimated amount of the debt. The committee should amend the report once a correct figure is known or include the correct figure in a later report. 104.11(b).
If a debt cannot be paid because the creditor has gone out of business or cannot be located, the committee may write to the FEC to request permission to discontinue reporting the debt. The letter must demonstrate that the debt is at least two years old and that efforts to reach the creditor have been made. The committee must continue to report the debt until the Commission determines that the debt is unpayable. 116.9.
A disputed debt is a bona fide disagreement between the creditor and the committee as to the existence of a debt or the amount owed by the committee. 116.10. Until the creditor and committee resolve the dispute (assuming the creditor did provide something of value), the committee must disclose:
• The amount the committee admits it owes;
• The amount the creditor claims is owed; and
• Any amounts the committee has paid the creditor.
Debts Owed to the Committee
Continuously report a debt owed to a committee on Schedule D if the debt exceeds $500 or has been outstanding 60 days. 104.3(d) and 104.11. Payments received on the debt are also reported on Schedule D until the debt is retired. The payments must also be reported on the appropriate line number of the Detailed Summary Page and itemized on Schedule A if necessary.
Enter the Schedule D total of outstanding debts owed to a committee, plus the balance of outstanding loans carried over from Schedule C, on Line 9 of the Summary Page.
What must be reported
If a committee has less than $5,000 of aggregate receipts and disbursements for FEA in a calendar year, it is required only to report receipts and disbursements of federal funds for FEA.
If the committee has $5,000 or more of aggregate receipts and disbursements for FEA in a calendar year, it must disclose all receipts and disbursements for FEA, including Levin funds, on Schedules L, H5 and H6. (Schedules H5 and H6 are discussed in the next chapter.) Note: Once a committee crosses this threshold, it must file on a monthly basis. See “Monthly Reporting” in the previous chapter.
State, district and local party committees use Schedule L to aggregate receipts and disbursements of Levin funds for the reporting period and for the calendar year-to-date.
Schedules L-A and L-B
Committees itemize receipts and disbursements of Levin funds of $200 or more on Schedules L-A and L-B.
Committees without a separate Levin account
If a committee has Levin-eligible funds in its nonfederal account, the committee is not required to report them as Levin funds until it characterizes them as such. When reporting these funds, the date of receipt is the date that the committee received them under state law, even though they are itemized on Schedule L-A in a later reporting period.
Line 1. Name and Address
Fill in the committee’s full name (including any abbreviations used) and mailing address. If the address has changed, check the appropriate box. (See “Name and Address of the Committee.”)
Line 2. ID Number
Enter the committee’s FEC identification number on Line 2. If the committee is filing its first report, it may not have yet received an ID number; in that case, the committee should leave this space blank.
A committee should include its ID number in all reports, statements, notices and other written communications with the FEC.
Line 3. Multicandidate Status
Check the box on Line 3 if the committee has qualified as a multicandidate committee. Note that a multicandidate committee may also have to file Form 1M. Click here for more information.
Line 4. Type of Report
Check the appropriate box under (a) indicating the type of disclosure report being filed (e.g., quarterly; see Chapter 11).
Under (b), indicate whether this is an amendment to an original report, as explained below.
Line 5. Coverage Dates
The period covered by the report begins the day after the close of books of the last report filed by the committee. If the report is the first one filed by a committee, then the reporting period begins with the date of the committee’s first activity.
Line 6. Cash on Hand
What Is Cash on Hand
Cash on hand includes funds held in checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, petty cash funds, traveler’s checks, treasury bills and other investments valued at cost. 104.3(a)(1).
Beginning cash on hand—i.e., money that the committee had in its possession at the time of registration—is subject to the contribution limits, prohibitions and disclosure requirements of federal law. (The committee must exclude any contributions that are not permissible under federal law and remove such contributions from its federal account.) The committee should itemize contributions and other receipts included in the beginning cash-on-hand balance. See “When to Itemize Receipts.” 104.12.
Treasurer’s Name and Signature
The treasurer must sign and date Form 3X at the bottom of the Summary Page. Only a treasurer or assistant treasurer designated on Form 1 (Statement of Organization) may sign the report. 104.14(a).
The committee must file an amended report if it:
• Discovers that an earlier report contained erroneous information; or
• Does not obtain required reporting information concerning a particular transaction until after the transaction has been reported. 104.7(b)(4).
When filing an amendment to an original report, complete the Summary Page (including the treasurer’s signature), indicating on Line 4b that the document is an amended report. In addition to the Summary Page, submit a corrected version of the schedule that contained the incomplete or incorrect itemized information in the earlier report, along with a revised Detailed Summary Page, if appropriate. Transactions originally reported correctly do not have to be itemized again. The Commission recommends that the treasurer attach a cover letter explaining the changes.
Electronic filers must resubmit the entire report as amended.
 Expenditures in excess of $200 for FEA which are made entirely with federal funds must be itemized on a Schedule B. The total is reported on Line 30(b) of the Detailed Summary Page.