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HOME / HELP WITH REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE / RESOURCES FOR COMMITTEE TREASURERS / TIMELY TIPS ARCHIVE 2011 - 2012

Timely Tips Archive 2011-2012

This page provides a comprehensive list of helpful tips that appeared during 2011-2012 on our Resources for Committee Treasurers page. These tips are intended to help treasurers meet their obligations under the federal campaign finance law. To suggest a tip, please e-mail us at info@fec.gov.

December 17, 2012 Limits for 2013-14 Coming Soon! Some of the contribution limits set forth in the federal campaign finance laws are adjusted every election cycle to account for changes in the consumer price index (CPI). In odd-numbered years, the FEC publishes the adjusted limits immediately after it receives the CPI figures from the Department of Labor -- typically in late January or early February. Until then, the Commission encourages donors not to exceed the limits for the previous election cycle.
December 10, 2012 Donations to the Inaugural Committee. Apart from a ban on donations from foreign nationals, the federal campaign finance law and FEC regulations do not restrict donations to inaugural committees. However, the inaugural committee must file a report on FEC Form 13 [Instructions] no later than 90 days after the Inauguration. On this report, the committee discloses the full names and addresses of each person or entity that donates $200 or more in the aggregate to the committee. See 11 CFR 104.21.
December 3, 2012 FEC Post-General Report Due December 6. All PACs, party committees and general election candidates must file a Post-General Report (30G) by Thursday, December 6. This report covers activity from the close of books for your last report through November 26. Presidential, House and Senate campaigns must use the Post-Election Detailed Summary Page [Presidential Version / Instructions][House/Senate Version/Instructions] to segregate pre-election activity from post-election activity. Staff in the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 p.m. (EST) Thursday to help filers with any last-minute questions.
November 26, 2012 Reporting Your Move To or From Washington, D.C. Campaigns of retiring officeholders should review Advisory Opinion 2010-26, in which the Commission found that a retiring Congressman could use campaign funds to pay temporary storage costs associated with the move back to his home because those costs were an ordinary and necessary expense incurred in connection with his duties as a holder of Federal office and not an illegal "personal use" of campaign funds. The costs were reportable as "other disbursements" on Line 21 of FEC Form 3, with the specific payee(s) and purpose noted. Likewise, in Advisory Opinion 1980-138, the Commission concluded that a Senator-elect could use campaign funds to pay the expense of moving himself and his family to Washington, D.C. for similar reasons, and with the costs similarly reported.
November 20, 2012 'Tis the Season for Holiday Greetings. The same disclaimer rules that apply to campaign-related mailings apply to holiday greeting cards as well, even though they usually do not solicit funds or contain express advocacy. If a campaign sends out more than 500 holiday greetings, (i.e., a mass mailing) it must include a box on the card to inform recipients that it was paid for by the campaign committee. A PAC or party committee that sends a holiday mass mailing must include a box on the card that lets recipients know the committee paid for it, identifies the committee's full name and street address, phone number or web address, and states that the communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. For details and examples, see the Commission's brochure, Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations.
November 13, 2012 New Election Cycle Begins. November 7, 2012, marked the beginning of a new election cycle for 2014 House campaigns, 2016 Presidential campaigns and 2018 Senate campaigns. For reporting purposes, campaigns aggregate receipts and disbursements on an election cycle basis. As a result, all 2012 campaigns must separate--both in their internal records and on their FEC reports--activity that occurred on or after November 7 from activity that occurred prior to that date, regardless of which election it relates to. The campaigns will disclose their separate election-cycle receipts and disbursements on the Post-Election Detailed Summary Page (Instructions) [Presidential Campaign Version / Instructions] required with the Post-General election report due December 6 (or for campaigns that were not in the general election, with the Year-End report due January 31).
October 29, 2012

Guidance for Filers Affected by Hurricane Sandy. During this final week before the November 6 election, 24- and 48-hour reports/notices are required for certain last-minute independent expenditures, electioneering communications and contributions. Hurricane Sandy could affect some committees' ability to submit these filings and the Commission's ability to accept them.

The Federal Election Campaign Act does not permit the Commission to grant extensions of filing deadlines. Committees must make their "best efforts" to file in a timely manner. The Commission will consider a late filer to have made best efforts if the filer can demonstrate it:

  • Was prevented from filing in a timely manner by reasonably unforeseen circumstances that were beyond its control; and
  • Filed the report no later than 24 hours after the end of such circumstances.

FEC regulations identify some specific circumstances that qualify for the "best efforts" defense. They include:

  • Failure of Commission computers or Commission-provided software after the committee sought technical assistance from Commission staff and resources;
  • Widespread disruption of information transmissions over the Internet not caused by the Commission’s or committee’s own computers or Internet service provider; and
  • Severe weather or other disaster-related incident.

Circumstances that will not meet the "best efforts" defense include:

  • Negligence;
  • Delays caused by committee vendors or contractors;
  • Illness, inexperience or unavailability of the treasurer or other staff;
  • Committee computer, software or Internet service provider failures;
  • Committee’s failure to know filing dates or to use filing software properly.

For detailed information, please consult the Final Rules and Explanation and Justification on Best Efforts in Administrative Fine Challenges.

October 22, 2012 Last-Minute Filing Frenzy! For some committees, the pre-general report will be the final FEC filing required before Election Day. Many filers, however, may be required to submit additional notices to disclose last-minute activity. Campaign committees must disclose within 48 hours any contribution of $1,000 or more received between October 18 and November 3. (File FEC Form 6 [Instructions] or our online webform.) Individuals and groups making electioneering communications that aggregate $10,000 or more must also file 24-Hour Reports to disclose the funds they raised and spent. (Use FEC Form 9 [Instructions] [Online Webform].) PACs, party committees and others making independent expenditures that aggregate $1,000 or more and are made after 10/17 but more than 24 hours before Election Day must file 24-Hour Reports to disclose the expenditures. PACs (including Super PACs) and party committees report such expenditures using Schedule E [PDF] [Instructions] [Online Webform]. Unregistered individuals/groups use FEC Form 5 [PDF] [Instructions] [Online Webform].
October 15, 2012 Do I Have to File a Pre-General Report? If you are a monthly filer or an authorized committee of a candidate in the 2012 general election, the answer is automatically YES. If you are a quarterly filing PAC or party committee, you must file a pre-general report only if your committee made contributions or expenditures in connection with the general election between October 1 and October 17, 2012. The report is due Thursday, October 25. (Please note that monthly filing PACs/party committees also must file their regular monthly report covering September on Saturday, October 20. The FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays, so filers should plan accordingly.) Additional reporting information, including a complete list of filing dates, is available on our Reporting Dates web page. For help with your reports, please consult the sources listed in last week’s tip.
October 11, 2012 FEC Quarterly Reports Due October 15. Reminder: Quarterly reports are due Monday, October 15. If you need last-minute help with your FEC report, here are some resources: Every political committee registered with the FEC has a Campaign Finance Analyst who reviews its reports to ensure that they are accurate and complete. That Analyst is also available to answer your reporting questions. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, Communications Specialists are also available to assist filers with reporting questions. (Note: Tricky issues are best referred to your Analyst, since he/she will be reviewing your report.) To reach these FEC staff members, call toll-free 1-800/424-9530 (press 5 to reach your Analyst or 6 to speak to a Specialist). Reporting help is also available on-line at http://www.fec.gov/info/filing.shtml and in our Campaign Guides. For electronic filing assistance, contact the tech support number for your software vendor. FECFile users may call 1-800/424-9530 (extension 1307) for technical assistance. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EDT) on Monday, October 15, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports.
October 1, 2012 Last-Minute Get-Out-the-Vote Activity by Party Committees. Party committees conducting GOTV activity now should be aware that such activity is considered to be federal election activity (FEA) under the Act. As such, it must be paid for with federal funds or with an allocation between federal and Levin (or Levin-eligible) funds. Engaging in reportable FEA will trigger monthly filing requirements for the committee. GOTV activity conducted on behalf of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees does not result in a contribution to the campaign provided that the payment is not for general public communications or political advertising and does not come from funds designated for such candidates, and that the activity is conducted by volunteers. For more information, see this Record news article on FEA, the FEC's brochure on local party activity and Chapter 8 of the Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees.
September 24, 2012 New FEC Tools Now Available for Looking Up Campaign Finance Data. On September 20, the Commission introduced its Candidate and Committee Viewer  and an enhanced Electronic Filing RSS feed. These two new disclosure tools are designed to help the public access federal campaign finance data and information more quickly and efficiently. Learn more here.
September 17, 2012 September Filing Reminder. Committees that file monthly have a report due Thursday, September 20, covering the month of August. Quarterly filers' next scheduled report is due October 15, and covers the third quarter of 2012. Unlike monthly filers, quarterly filers that make contributions or expenditures in connection with special or primary elections may also have to file additional pre- and/or post-election reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special or primary elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
September 10, 2012 Sign Up Now for the Pre-Election Reporting Roundtable Workshops! To help committees prepare for pre-election reporting, the Commission will offer workshops on FEC reporting and its free FECFile software at its headquarters in Washington, DC on Wednesday, October 3. Separate workshops will be offered for PACs and party committees and for candidates. A webinar option is available for those who cannot attend in person. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.fec.gov/info/outreach.shtml#roundtables.
September 4, 2012 Electioneering Communications General Election Filing Period Begins This Friday. The electioneering communications period for the general election begins on Friday, September 7 and runs through November 6. Any person who makes electioneering communications that aggregate more than $10,000 during this time period must file disclosure statements with the Commission within 24 hours of the date the electioneering communication is publicly distributed. For more information, visit http://www.fec.gov/info/charts_ec_dates_2012.shtml.
August 27, 2012 Citizen's Guide to Supporting Federal Candidates. Looking for a simple way to educate supporters or volunteers on campaign finance rules for individuals wishing to support candidates? Check out our updated video, A Citizen's Guide to Supporting Federal Candidates, on FECTube!
August 20. 2012 Groups that Register Voluntarily. The Commission occasionally receives calls from groups that have chosen to register with the FEC as political committees before they were technically required to under the campaign finance law. See 2 U.S.C. §431(4)(A). Since these groups do not meet the legal definition of “political committee,” they are not required to file reports on FEC Form 3X. Unfortunately, the Commission has no way of knowing that, and can only assume that these groups registered because they triggered the law’s filing requirements. For that reason, we recommend that these groups either file reports voluntarily or submit a statement when reports are due indicating that they have not reached the $1,000 political committee registration threshold. Doing so will help the groups avoid receiving "failure to file" notices from the FEC when reports are due.
August 13, 2012 Monthly/Primary/Special Election Reporting Reminders. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due, Monday, August 20, covering the month of July. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with special or primary elections held in July, August or September they may also have to file additional reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special or primary elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
August 6, 2012 Sign Up Now for the Pre-Election Communications Roundtable Workshop! The Commission will offer a workshop on pre-election communications at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, August 28. Topics will include electioneering communications, coordinated communications and independent expenditures. A webinar option is available for those who cannot attend in person. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.fec.gov/info/outreach.shtml#roundtables.
July 30, 2012 FEC Statement on Van Hollen v. FEC. The Commission has posted a public statement regarding disclosure of electioneering communications that outlines how the agency will comply with the district court's decision in Van Hollen v. FEC. Effective March 30, 2012, persons making disbursements for electioneering communications must report the name and address of each donor who donated an amount aggregating $1,000 or more to the person making the disbursement, aggregating since the first day of the preceding calendar year. More detailed information is available in the statement. Persons with specific questions regarding their reporting obligations may contact the Reports Analysis Division at (800) 424-9350 (at the prompt, press 5). Others may contact the Information Division at (800) 424-9530 (press 6).
July 23, 2012

Contributions to Presidential Candidates. An individual may contribute up to $2,500 (multicandidate PAC: $5,000) to a Presidential candidate in the primary election campaign, whether or not the candidate accepts matching funds. (The $2,500 limit applies to the entire primary process, rather than to a single primary held in a particular state.) The primary election period ends on the date that the candidate accepts the nomination of the party. (For Republicans, that date will be 8/30/12, and for Democrats, that date will be 9/6/12.)

After that date, a major party nominee who chooses to accept public funding for the general election may not accept any private contributions to further his election. An individual, however, may contribute up to $2,500 to the legal/accounting compliance fund of a publicly funded major party nominee (multicandidate PAC: $5,000). In the case of a major party nominee who is not publicly funded, an individual may contribute up to $2,500 (multicandidate PAC: $5,000) to the general election campaign. For more information, see the brochure Public Funding of Presidential Elections.

July 16, 2012 Now Appearing at Your County Fair: FEC Disclaimers!  If your committee plans to maintain a booth or other presence at your county or state fair, be sure the literature you are distributing contains the appropriate disclaimer statements.  Some items, such as bumper stickers, pins and tee-shirts, are exempt.  Other items, such as brochures and yard signs, need a printed statement, enclosed in a box, that indicates who has paid for the communication, and if paid for by a party committee or PAC, whether it was authorized by a campaign.  For more information, see the brochure Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations.
July 9, 2012 July Filing Reminder. Quarterly filers have a report due on Sunday, July 15 (covering activity through June 30) and monthly filers have a report due on Friday, July 20 (covering the month of June). Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Quarterly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than July 15, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, July 13 for quarterly filers). Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. (Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EDT) on Friday, July 13, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.) Active in a primary election? See the Compliance Map and click on your state (or the state in which your quarterly filing PAC or party committee is making contributions or expenditures) for specific filing information pertinent to that primary.
July 2, 2012

Two Emails on Form 1. Political committees now have the option to add a second email address to their contact information on FEC Form 1, the Statement of Organization. The Commission added the second address field to Form 1 and to the agency’s disclosure database in response to requests from filers who wanted to receive FEC correspondence at more than one email address. The option is available to all committees—new and existing; candidates, parties and PACs; paper and electronic filers.  Committees should enter one email address in each of the two boxes provided. If your electronic filing software provides only one box, enter both addresses, separated by a comma or semi-colon. Should you have any questions, please contact your committee’s Campaign Finance Analyst at 800-424-9530 (and select option 5).

June 25, 2012 Sign Up Now for Summer Reporting Roundtable Workshops. The Commission will offer workshops on FEC reporting and its free FECFile software at its headquarters in Washington, DC on Wednesday, July 11. Separate workshops will be offered for PACs and party committees and for candidates. A webinar option is available for those who cannot attend in person. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.fec.gov/info/outreach.shtml#roundtables.
June 18, 2012 Commission Sets Rulemaking Priorities for 2012. The Commission recently approved and made public its rulemaking priorities for the remainder of 2012. The main projects will implement recent court decisions regarding independent spending by both political committees and corporations and labor organizations. For more information, see this Record article.
June 12, 2012 June Filing Reminder. Committees that file monthly have a report due Wednesday, June 20, covering the month of May 2012. Quarterly filers' next scheduled report is due July 15, and covers the second quarter of 2012. Unlike monthly filers, quarterly filers that make contributions or expenditures in connection with special or primary elections may also have to file additional pre- and/or post-election reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special or primary elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
June 4, 2012 Disclosing the Purposes of Disbursements. When disclosing expenditures on FEC reports, committees must ensure the purpose of the disbursement, coupled with the identity of the payee, is sufficiently specific that the reader could easily discern why the expenditure was made. In order to help committees comply with this requirement, the Reports Analysis Division has posted examples of adequate purpose descriptions.
May 29, 2012 Updated Contact Information for Other Election Agencies Available. The 2012 edition of the Combined Federal/State Disclosure and Election Directory is available in the Public Records section of the Commission website. This publication identifies the federal and state agencies responsible for the disclosure of campaign finances, lobbying, personal finances, public financing, candidates on the ballot, election results, spending on state initiatives and other financial filings.
May 21, 2012 How to Register a "Super PAC." To register an Independent Expenditure-Only Political Committee (aka "Super PAC"), complete FEC Form 1 (Statement of Organization), checking box 5(f) under "Type of Committee." File the completed form with the FEC, along with a letter clarifying your intent to function as a Super PAC. A Commission-approved template is available on our website. A new registrant or other paper filer may submit the letter and form by registered/certified mail or by overnight mail. Both documents must be signed by the committee's treasurer. Existing committees that file electronically may amend their Statement of Organization by submitting the text of the letter using Form 99. For additional information, see FEC Advisory Opinions 2010-09 and 2010-11.
May 15, 2012 May Reporting Reminder. Committees that file monthly have a report due Sunday, May 20, covering the month of April 2012. Please note that the FEC does not have the authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends. Filers should plan accordingly. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with special or primary elections held in April, May or June, they may also have to file additional reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special or primary elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
May 8, 2012 Get FEC Updates on Twitter @fecupdates! Did you know the FEC is on Twitter? Follow @fecupdates for breaking FEC news and updates, including links to press releases, open meeting livestreams, and other FEC-related developments.
May 1, 2012 National Convention Delegate FAQ. Every four years at this time, we begin to receive calls asking about the reporting requirements and contribution rules that apply to national convention delegates. Individual delegates are not required to register or file regular reports of the funds they raise and spend for their personal delegate activity; however, delegates acting as a group may have to file reports as a delegate committee. In regard to rules for contributions, there are no monetary limits on contributions made to individual delegates, but delegates may not accept contributions from any source that is prohibited from making contributions in connection with federal elections (e.g., corporations, labor organizations and foreign nationals). For more information, see this article.
April 24, 2012 Has Redistricting Affected Your Campaign? Several callers affected by redistricting have asked how this process affects their House campaign's contribution limits and reporting requirements. In FEC Advisory Opinion 1982-22, the Commission ruled that the office of Representative of the United States is defined not by the geographical boundaries of the particular district which elects it but rather by the State which it represents. Thus, a candidate whose district has changed is not entitled to a new contribution limit should the district boundaries change. Although the candidate does not have to set up a new principal campaign committee, he or she must amend FEC Forms 1 and 2 to reflect the new district number within ten days of the completion of the state's redistricting process.
April 16, 2012 Updated Edition of FEC Regulations Now Available. The 2012 edition of Title 11, Code of Federal Regulations is now available online and in print from the FEC's Information Division. To order a hard copy, call 1-800/424-9530 (press 6), or send an email to info@fec.gov requesting "11 CFR." Alternatively, click this link to access and download the compilation in PDF or XML format.
April 10, 2012 April Filing Reminder. Monthly filers have a report due Friday, April 20, covering the month of March, and Quarterly filers have a report due Sunday, April 15, covering from the close of books of their last report through March 31. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Quarterly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than April 15, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, April 13 for quarterly filers). Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EDT) on Friday, April 13, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.
April 2, 2012

Adjusted Q1 Requirements for Some Filers. All quarterly filers have at least one report due in April. For most, it’s the quarterly report that covers 1/1 – 3/31 and is due Sunday, 4/15. (Sorry, we don’t have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays.) Committees that have filed pre-primary or special election reports during the first quarter should adjust the coverage period for their quarterly report accordingly to avoid duplicative reporting.

The Commission has waived the quarterly report for committees that file pre-primary reports for the 4/17 special election in Arizona’s 8th district and/or the 4/24 Pennsylvania primary. To confirm your committee’s filing requirements, please review the reporting information on our website. As always, if you have questions, please call 1-800/424-9530.  

March 27, 2012 New Campaign Finance Disclosure Web Portal Now Available. The Federal Election Commission has introduced a new campaign finance disclosure portal to simplify access to the wide range of disclosure data available on the agency’s website. The disclosure portal provides a single point of entry to federal campaign finance data. It features easily navigable maps, as well as a variety of search tools that will help users make the best use of the Commission’s data sources. Users can download many of the data sets available through the Disclosure Portal to perform their own analyses.
March 19, 2012 March Reporting Reminder. Committees that file monthly have a report due Tuesday, March 20, covering the month of February 2012. Quarterly filers' next scheduled report is due April 15, and covers the first quarter of 2012. Unlike monthly filers, quarterly filers that make contributions or expenditures in connection with special or primary elections may also have to file additional pre- and/or post-election reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special or primary elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
March 12, 2012 Primary Season Reporting is Underway! Some Congressional and Senatorial campaigns, and quarterly-filing PACs and party committees that support or oppose them, have pre-primary or pre-convention reports due this month. Visit http://www.fec.gov/info/charts_primary_dates_2012.shtml for a complete list of all pre-election reporting dates. As always, monthly filers do not need to worry about pre-primary reporting. If you are a quarterly filing PAC or party committee and wish to switch to monthly filing to avoid filing multiple pre-primary reports, attach a letter (paper filers) or a Form 99 (electronic filers) to your next report indicating that you will now be filing reports on the other schedule.
March 5, 2012 Do You Know Who Reviews Your Reports? Every committee registered with the FEC has a campaign finance analyst from the FEC's Reports Analysis Division assigned to review its reports. Each analyst is assigned 200-400 committees and is available to assist committee representatives over the phone on a daily basis. If you would like to find out the name of the analyst assigned to your committee, use the handy red button labeled "Click Here to Find Your Campaign Finance Analyst" at the top of the Reports Analysis Division FAQ web page. To contact your RAD analyst, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or locally, 202-694-1130.
February 27, 2012 Register now for Last Candidate/Party Training for 2012! The FEC is holding its final seminar of the 2012 election cycle for House and Senate campaigns and political party committees on Wednesday, March 21 in Washington, DC. A webinar option is also available for those who cannot attend in person. Space in both the seminar and the webinar is limited, so register now to secure your spot!
February 21, 2012 FEC Publishes Adjusted Limits and Thresholds. Today, the Commission published its Price Index Adjustments for Expenditure Limitations and Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure Threshold in the Federal Register.  This annual notice informs the public of any adjustments in expenditure limitations as well as the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold. For 2012, the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold has increased to $16,700. The coordinated party expenditure limit for the general election for House races will be $45,600 ($91,200 in those states with only one Congressional district). The coordinated party limits for the general election for Senate races vary by State; see the chart at http://www.fec.gov/info/charts_441ad_2012.shtml for a table of those limits.
February 13, 2012 Reports Due on Presidents' Day. Monthly filers have a report due on Monday, February 20 - the Presidents' Day holiday. The Commission does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on federal holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Reports sent by Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail must be postmarked no later than February 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, February 17). Electronic filers have until 11:59 (EST) on February 20 to submit their reports on time. While the FEC will be closed on the 20th, staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EST) on Friday, February 17, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.
February 6, 2012 The Reports Analysis Division is Now Online! The Reports Analysis Division (RAD) - the FEC division that reviews your campaign finance reports - now has its own home page on the agency's website. This new web page describes the RAD review process and includes frequently asked questions (FAQ's) on reporting issues, Requests for Additional Information (RFAI's) and other RAD processes. The page has been organized by committee type (candidate, party, PAC) to help filers find the resources most relevant to them, all in one place.
January 30, 2012 Year-End Reporting Due January 31. All committees are reminded that the Year-End report is due Tuesday, January 31, covering from the date your last report left off through December 31. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm EST on January 31 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4. The E-Filing Office can also be reached locally at 202-694-1307.
January 23, 2012 Register Now for the FEC's ONLY Two-Day Conference in 2012! There is still time to register for the FEC's two-day conference in Miami, Florida, February 22-23. Treasurers and others looking for our most comprehensive training on federal campaign finance law requirements will want to attend this conference, because this will be the only full two-day training conference offered by the FEC in 2012. Register now before the price goes up on January 27!
January 17, 2012 Date Made / Date Received. Under FEC rules, the date a donor makes a contribution to a candidate and the date the campaign receives it are both important, but for different reasons.

The date a contribution is made determines which per-election limit the contribution counts against. For example, an undesignated contribution made (i.e., postmarked or hand-delivered) on or before the date of the primary election counts against the donor’s limit for that election. Undesignated contributions made after that date count toward the limit for the candidate’s next election (e.g., the general election).

The date a campaign receives a contribution is the date it lists on its FEC reports. For example, campaigns will include on their upcoming Year-End reports (due January 31) only those contributions received by December 31 (the close of books for that report). A contribution received on January 1 will be reported on the committee's first report covering 2012 activity, even if the contribution was made in 2011.

More information on "Date Made" and "Date Received" may be found on page 23 of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates.

January 9, 2012 Switching Filing Frequency? Party committees that do not conduct reportable federal election activity and all PACs have the option to choose to file reports on a "monthly" or "quarterly" filing schedule. Some committees prefer to file reports on a monthly basis during a federal election year (such as 2012), and on a less-frequent basis during a nonfederal election year (such as 2011). Unauthorized committees are permitted to switch filing frequencies one time per year. To switch your committee's filing frequency in 2012, attach a letter (paper filers only) or a Form 99 to your year-end report (due January 31) indicating that you will now be filing reports on the other schedule. If you were a quarterly filer in 2011 and wish to remain on that schedule, you do not need to submit a request, but be aware that in election years, quarterly filers file a minimum of five reports (three quarterly reports, a Post-General, and a Year-End report) and may have to file additional pre-primary and pre-general election reports, depending on their activity.
January 3, 2012 2012 Reporting Dates Are Now Available. The Commission has posted on its web site the 2012 reporting schedules for candidates, parties and PACs. Grab your new calendar and make a note of the due dates!
December 29, 2011 Happy New Year from the FEC. The FEC will be closed Monday, January 2. The regular weekly tip will return in January, along with updated reporting schedules, announcements of outreach opportunities and postings of other important information for committee treasurers.
December 20, 2011 December Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded that they have a report due Tuesday, December 20, covering the month of November. Also, filers active in the Iowa Presidential caucus or the New Hampshire Presidential primary should be aware that the 24-hour notice reporting periods are now active in those States for electioneering communications (made by individuals, corporations and unions) and independent expenditures (made by individuals, PACs, corporations and unions).
December 12, 2011 Avoid the Election-Year Rush, Sign-Up Now for FEC Training! Looking for training on FEC regulations and reporting? Registration has already begun for the FEC's January 11 Year-End reporting and e-filing roundtables for PACs, House/Senate campaigns and political party committees. (Note: The e-filing workshop for PACs/party committees is already sold out; space is available in all other workshops on that day.) For those desiring comprehensive training, the Commission will hold its final two-day conference of the election cycle in Miami, Florida on February 22-23, 2012. Register now for best rates!
December 05, 2011

FAQs for the Presidential Primary Season. With the first Presidential primaries and caucuses less than a month away, the Commission has begun to receive questions about the filing requirements associated with these elections:

1. Where can I find a list of the primary election dates? The complete list is available on our web site at http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/2012pdates.pdf.

2. What are the election year filing requirements for Presidential campaigns? Presidential campaigns that raise or spend $100,000 or more, or expect to do so, must file monthly reports during 2012. If the campaign is below this financial threshold, it must file reports on a quarterly schedule. All Presidential campaigns must file a year end report on January 31, 2012. See http://www.fec.gov/pages/report_notices/2011/ye_prez_11.shtml for your complete filing schedule.

3. Do PACs or parties have to file pre-election reports if they participate in the primaries or caucuses? If the committee is a monthly filer, no. If the committee is a quarterly filer and makes contributions or expenditures (including independent expenditures) in connection with a Presidential primary election, it must also file a Pre-Election Report, if the activity was not previously reported. Note, however, that the Commission has not required pre-election reports for caucuses (See AO 1979-71). The FEC encourages quarterly filing PACs and party committees that make multiple contributions in different primaries to consider switching to monthly filing in order to simplify their reporting schedule. Committees who wish to change their reporting schedule must notify the Commission in writing when filing a report under the committee's current schedule.

For more answers to common questions, check out our Quick Answers page at http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers.shtml.

November 29, 2011 'Tis the Season for Holiday Greetings. The same disclaimer rules that apply to campaign-related mailings apply to holiday greeting cards as well, even though they usually do not solicit funds or contain express advocacy. If a campaign sends out more than 500 holiday greetings, (i.e., a mass mailing) it must include a box on the card to inform recipients that it was paid for by the campaign committee. A PAC or party committee that sends a holiday mass mailing must include a box on the card that lets recipients know the committee paid for it, identifies the committee's full name and street address, phone number or web address, and states that the communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. For details and examples, see the Commission's brochure, Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations.
November 22, 2011 Planning for 2012 Reporting. To assist committees and individuals who have inquired about the FEC reporting schedule for next year, the FEC has added a "Looking Ahead to 2012" section on the Reporting Dates web page. This section links to the charts outlining the 2012 independent expenditure, electioneering communications, coordinated communications and Federal Election Activity periods, as well as the Congressional pre-primary report deadlines for the election dates we currently have. Note that many dates are still pending and these charts will be updated as additional election dates come in.
November 14, 2011 November Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded that they have a report due Sunday, November 20, covering the month of October. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Reports sent by Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail must be postmarked no later than November 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, November 18). Electronic filers have until 11:59 (EST) on November 20 to submit their reports on time.
November 7, 2011 Internet Rulemaking Comments due this Monday, November 14. The FEC published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comments on whether and how the Commission should revise its rules at 11 CFR 110.11 regarding disclaimer requirements for certain Internet communications. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically via the Commission’s website at http://www.fec.gov/fosers to ensure timely receipt and consideration. For more information and instructions on how to file comments, see the linked Advance NPRM.
October 31, 2011 Candidate Guide (2011 Edition) Now Available in Hard Copy. Printed versions of the August 2011 updated version of the FEC's Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees are now available free of charge from the FEC's Information Division. To order, call (800)424-9530 (press 6) or send an email to info@fec.gov.
October 24, 2011 Message from the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) – Process Change Notification. The Reports Analysis Division (RAD) will fully implement a process change to send Requests for Additional Information (RFAIs) via email on October 28, 2011. Please note that you will no longer receive paper RFAIs through the mail once this process begins. To provide an email address or update your current email address, please file an amended Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1). If you would prefer to continue to receive RFAIs on paper, please file a miscellaneous document (Form 99 for electronic filers), to indicate this preference. Should you have any questions, please contact your Campaign Finance Analyst on our toll-free number (800) 424-9530 (at the prompt, press 5 to reach the Reports Analysis Division) or our local number (202) 694-1130.
October 17, 2011 Monthly/Special Election Reporting Reminders. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due Thursday, October 20, covering the month of September. Quarterly filers do not have a report due that day. However, unlike monthly filers, if quarterly filers make contributions or expenditures in connection with special elections (currently ongoing in Nevada, New York and Oregon), they may have to file additional pre- or post-election reports. Thus quarterly filers should read the information posted at http://www.fec.gov/info/report_dates_2011.shtml#special if they make contributions/expenditures for special elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
October 11, 2011 Campaigns must file Quarterly Reports by October 15. Reminder: Quarterly reports by authorized committees are due Saturday, October 15. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Reports sent by Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail must be postmarked no later than October 15, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, October 14). Electronic filers have until 11:59 (EDT) on October 15 to submit their reports on time. If you need last-minute help with your FEC report, here are some resources: Every political committee registered with the FEC has a Campaign Finance Analyst who reviews its reports to ensure that they are accurate and complete. That Analyst is also available to answer your reporting questions. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, Communications Specialists are also available to assist filers with reporting questions. (Note: Tricky issues are best referred to your Analyst, since he/she will be reviewing your report.) To reach these FEC staff members, call toll-free 1-800/424-9530 (press 5 to reach your Analyst or 6 to speak to a Specialist). Reporting help is also available on-line at http://www.fec.gov/info/filing.shtml and in our Campaign Guides. For electronic filing assistance, contact the tech support number for your software vendor. FECFile users may call 1-800/424-9530 (extension 1307) for technical assistance. RAD analysts and FECFile tech support will be available until 8 p.m. EDT Friday, October 14.
October 3, 2011 Electronic Filing Update. As noted in our tip of September 12, as of September 26, all electronic filers must now use v.8 of the electronic filing specifications. Current FECFile users need only open their software and accept the automatic update. Committees using commercial filing software should contact their vendors as soon as possible for more information about the latest release. If you have any questions, please call the Electronic Filing Office at (202)694-1307 or (800)424-9530, x1307.
September 26, 2011 Register Now for FEC Training! The FEC will host its only West Coast conference this election cycle on October 25-26, in San Diego, CA. Workshops will explain the federal campaign finance rules that apply to candidate committees, party committees and corporate/labor/trade PACs. Other PACs are encouraged to register for our November 16 Seminar for Nonconnected Committees, to be held at FEC headquarters in Washington, DC. Registration is now open for both of these training events; simply click the links to see the agenda and registration information for each program.
September 19, 2011 New Candidate Guide Available. The new 2011 edition of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees is now available on the FEC website. Paper copies of the Guide will be available later this year.
September 12, 2011 Electronic Filing Update. Revised electronic filing specifications (v.8) have been released. Beginning September 26, only filings formatted in Version 8 will be accepted. Current FECFile users need only open their software (after 9/26) and accept the automatic update. Committees using commercial filing software should contact their vendors for more information about the latest release. If you have any questions, please call the Electronic Filing Office at: (202) 694-1307 or (800) 424-9530 ext. 1307.
September 1, 2011 Message from the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) – Process Change Notification. The Reports Analysis Division (RAD) will begin sending Requests for Additional Information (RFAIs) via e-mail in October 2011. Please note that you will no longer receive paper RFAIs through the mail once this process begins. To provide an e-mail address or update your current e-mail address, please file an amended Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1). If you would prefer to continue to receive RFAIs on paper, please file a miscellaneous document (Form 99 for electronic filers), to indicate this preference. Should you have any questions, please contact your Campaign Finance Analyst on our toll-free number (800) 424-9530 (at the prompt press 5 to reach the Reports Analysis Division) or our local number (202) 694-1130.
August 29, 2011 Special Election Update. Upcoming special general elections in Nevada's 2nd and New York's 9th Congressional districts require pre-election reports due on Thursday, September 1. The reports are required for all candidates in these two special general elections, as well as from any quarterly-filing PAC or party committee that has made previously undisclosed contributions or expenditures in connection with these elections. For more information, see the Federal Register notice for each election [ NV/02 | NY/09 ]. Also, filing information is now available for the upcoming special election in Oregon's 2nd Congressional district.
August 17, 2011 August Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded that they have a report due Saturday, August 20, covering the month of July. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Reports sent by Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail must be postmarked no later than August 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, August 20). Electronic filers have until 11:59 (EDT) on August 20 to submit their reports on time.
August 8, 2011 Looking for Campaign Finance Law Training? Next year is an election year, so this is good time to update your knowledge of FEC rules and practices to prepare for the 2012 elections. The FEC is now accepting registrations for its September 7-8 conference in Minneapolis, MN. Intended for House and Senate campaigns, corporate/labor/trade PACs, and state and local political party committees, this conference will offer workshops on fundraising, reporting and communications. All workshops focus on best practices and ways to avoid compliance problems. Register before August 12 and take advantage of an early registration fee discount!
August 2, 2011 New FEC Record. The new FEC Record is now available! In an effort to provide more timely and user-friendly information, we have converted the Record from a print-based online publication to a wholly web-based format that better utilizes the medium. We’re excited to improve this already useful resource in a way that will help our readers keep up with FEC-related news better than ever.
July 25, 2011

Mid-Year Reports Due Sunday, July 31. All PACs and party committees not filing monthly must file a Mid-Year report due Sunday, July 31. Please note that even though the FEC is not open on the 31st, the statutory filing deadline cannot be extended. Committees—particularly those that file on paper—should plan accordingly to ensure timely filing. The FEC’s Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be open until 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, July 29, to help committees complete and file their reports. RAD analysts will be available to answer committees’ questions on reporting specific transactions, and E-Filing staff will also be on hand to address any technical issues filers may encounter. To reach these offices, call 1-800/424-9530 and press 4 for the E-Filing Office or press 5 for RAD. Locally, call RAD at (202) 694-1130 and the E-Filing Office at (202) 694-1307.

July 18, 2011 July Monthly Reporting Reminder. PACs, party committees and Presidential campaigns filing on a monthly basis are reminded that they have a report due Wednesday, July 20, covering activity through June 30.
July 11, 2011 July Quarterly/Mid-Year Reporting Reminder. Campaign committees filing on a quarterly filing schedule must file the July Quarterly report, due Friday, July 15 and covering activity through June 30. PACs and party committees that filed on a quarterly basis in 2010 are reminded that because it is a non-election year, they do not file the July Quarterly report. Instead, all PACs and party committees not filing monthly must file a Mid-Year report due Sunday, July 31. The FEC’s Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be open until 8:00 p.m. (EDT) on both Friday, July 15, and Friday, July 29, to help committees complete and file their reports. RAD analysts will be available to answer committees’ questions on reporting specific transactions, and E-Filing staff will also be on hand to address any technical issues filers may encounter. To reach these offices, call 1-800/424-9530 and press 4 for the E-Filing Office or press 5 for RAD. Locally, call RAD at (202) 694-1130 and the E-Filing Office at (202) 694-1307.
July 5, 2011 FEC Issues Two AOs on "Super PACs." On June 30, the Commission issued two advisory opinions addressing various questions raised by "independent expenditure-only political committees" ( a.k.a, Super PACs). Links to the advisory opinions, as well as a description of their findings, are available here.
June 27, 2011 CA/36 Special Runoff Reports Due on 6/30. Candidates running in the July 12 special runoff election in California's 36th Congressional District, and quarterly-filing PACs/party committees that make contributions or expenditures to support or oppose them during the coverage period, must file pre-special runoff election reports on June 30. For more information, click here.
June 20, 2011 Sign Up Now for Summer Reporting Roundtable Workshops. The Commission will offer workshops on FEC reporting and using FECFile software at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, July 13. Separate workshops will be offered for PACs and party committees and for candidate committees. Openings are still available in all sessions; pre-payment of $25 per workshop required. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.fec.gov/info/outreach.shtml#roundtables.
June 14, 2011 June Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded that they have a report due Monday, June 20, covering the month of May. Quarterly filers do not have a report due that day. However, unlike monthly filers, if quarterly filers make contributions or expenditures in connection with special elections (currently ongoing in Nevada, New York and California), they may have to file additional pre- or post-election reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the information posted at http://www.fec.gov/info/report_dates_2011.shtml#special if they make contributions/expenditures for special elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
June 7, 2011 Supplements Help Your Committee Stay Healthy. Each month, the FEC publishes supplements to update its Campaign Guides for Candidates, Party Committees, Nonconnected Committees and Corporations and Labor Organizations. Reading the appropriate supplement at the beginning of each month is a good way to ensure that your committee complies with the latest rules and "stays healthy."
May 31, 2011

Procedure Regarding Disclosure of Documents and Information in the Enforcement Process. The Commission approved an agency procedure for disclosure of documents and information to respondents in enforcement matters, in line with the Commission’s efforts to increase transparency with respect to FEC processes. The policy formally defines the scope of documents the FEC will provide to respondents in enforcement matters brought under the Act, and the agency’s process of disclosing these documents. Statements were issued by Chair Cynthia L. Bauerly, Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub and Commissioner Steven T. Walther.

May 23, 2011 Track the Newest Committee Registrations with the FEC. The FEC's Public Records Office and Press Office have launched a web page to track new committee registrations. Updated daily at 7:00 a.m. Eastern, it is available at http://www.fec.gov/press/press2011/new_form1dt.shtml. A similar page launched earlier this year tracks Presidential Statements of Candidacy.
May 17, 2011 May Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded that they have a report due, Friday, May 20, covering the month of April. Quarterly filers do not have a report due that day. However, unlike monthly filers, if quarterly filers make contributions or expenditures in connection with special elections, they may have to file additional pre- or post-election reports. Thus, quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map if they make contributions/expenditures for special elections, to determine if an additional report is required.
May 9, 2011 Agency Procedure for Disclosure of Documents and Information in the Enforcement Process. On May 5, the Commission discussed two draft notices outlining an agency procedure for disclosure of documents and information to respondents in the enforcement process. The discussion of the draft procedures was held over until the next open meeting, scheduled for May 26, to provide an opportunity for public comment on the drafts. Comments will be due by 5 p.m. on May 23 and should be sent via email to documentdisclosure@fec.gov. Click here for the two drafts (Agenda Document No. 11-23 and Agenda Document No. 11-23-A).
May 2, 2011 Deciding Whether to Become a Candidate? Before deciding to campaign for federal office, an individual may want to “test the waters”—in other words, explore the feasibility of becoming a candidate. An individual who merely test the waters, but does not campaign for office, does not have to register or report as a candidate even if the individual raises more than $5,000—the dollar threshold that would normally trigger registration. Nevertheless, funds raised to test the waters are subject to the Federal Election Campaign Act’s (the Act) contribution limitations and prohibitions. For more information, see this article: [HTML] [PDF].
April 25, 2011 Contribution Limits in Special Elections. A special election is considered a separate election with a separate contribution limit. (Note that a special election may itself involve separate special primary, special general and/or special runoff elections. Each would have a separate contribution limit.) When reporting contributions made in connection with a special election, be sure to check the appropriate box for type of election, and indicate that it is a special election (e.g., "2011 special general" in the case of current upcoming special House general elections in CA/36 and NY/26).
April 18, 2011 Special Election Reporting. Committees involved in two upcoming special elections have reports due in May. In California's 36th district, a pre-general report is due May 5 (covering activity from April 1 through April 27). In New York's 26th District, a pre-general report is due May 12 (covering April 1 through May 4). Quarterly-filing PACs/party committees and other entities supporting or opposing candidates in those elections should review these Federal Register notices [CA/36 | NY/26] to determine their filing requirements.
April 11, 2011 April Reporting Reminder. Authorized committees have a report due Friday, April 15, covering activity from the closing date of their last report through March 31. (Note: PACs and party committees that filed quarterly in 2010 file on a semi-annual basis in 2011.) Monthly filers have a report due Wednesday, April 20, covering the month of March. All electronic filers should take note of last week's tip and ensure that they’re using version 7 of the electronic filing format.
April 5, 2011 Update Your Software Now to Prepare for This Month's Reporting. The latest version of FECFile (Build 7.0.1.0) has been released today, and is available for download at http://www.fec.gov/elecfil/updatelist.shtml. Reports filed using an earlier version will no longer be accepted. If you use commercial software, contact your vendor to ensure they are using the latest electronic filing format.
March 28, 2011 Updated Compilation of FEC Regulations Now Available. The 2011 edition of Title 11, Code of Federal Regulations is now available on-line and in print from the FEC's Information Division. To order a hard copy, call 1-800/424-9530 (press 6), or send an e-mail to info@fec.gov requesting "11 CFR." Alternatively, you may click this link to access and download the compilation in PDF or XML format.
March 21, 2011 New Interpretive Rule on Electronic Redesignations. On March 16, the Commission approved an interpretive rule allowing a specific method of electronic redesignation of contributions that provides a sufficient level of assurance as to a contributor’s identity and intent to redesignate a contribution. The Commission will consider other methods of electronic redesignation that are not explicitly set forth in the interpretive rule on a case-by-case basis, provided that they offer a sufficient degree of assurances.
March 14, 2011 March Reporting Reminder. Committees that file monthly have a report due Sunday, March 20, covering the month of February 2011. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Reports sent by Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail must be postmarked no later than March 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, March 18). Electronic filers have until 11:59 (EDT) on March 20 to submit their reports on time.
March 7, 2011 New Disclosure Search Function Added. The Commission has added a new feature to its Disclosure Data Catalog that allows users to specify the election cycle for the data they are searching. Users can now specify the 2010 or 2012 cycle for data contained in the Campaign and Committee Report by Report Summary section, the Candidate Summary section and the Committee Summary section.
March 1, 2011 New Online Rulemaking Search Available. The Federal Election Commission has launched a new search system for public documents generated in connection with Commission rulemakings. The Searchable Electronic Rulemaking System allows users to search public documents developed in the course of the Commission’s rulemaking process. This system, which can be searched chronologically, by subject or regulation name or number, will replace and expand upon the Commission’s current, online rulemaking archive. It also provides a new mechanism for the public to comment on ongoing rulemakings. 
February 22, 2011 New Training Video Available for Potential Candidates. This week, the Information Division added a new presentation to its E-Learning page regarding Testing the Waters. The presentation gives an overview of the rules on funds an individual may raise and spend to test the waters for a potential candidacy without having to register or report with the FEC. You can also view the video on FECTube, the FEC's You Tube channel.
February 14, 2011 Electronic Filing Requirements Triggered? Paper Reports Will Not Be Accepted. Reminder: Any committees, individuals or other non-committee entities that meet the $50,000 contributions/expenditures threshold triggering mandatory electronic filing requirements, must file reports electronically rather than on paper. Under 11 CFR 104.18(c), reports filed electronically are defined to include any statement, designation or report required by the Act to be filed with the Commission. Moreover, under 11 CFR 104.18(a)(2), once a filer has exceeded the $50,000 threshold, any report it files on paper will not satisfy filing obligations. Instead, the report will be considered "not filed" and could be subject to Commission action. This requirement (and reminder) extends to not only filings of Form 3, Form 3X or Form 3P (as applicable) by political committees but also to Forms 1, 1M (filed by PACs and party committees) and 6 (filed by campaigns). It also applies to individuals and non-committee entities filing Forms 5, 7 and 9 (disclosing independent expenditures, communication costs and electioneering communications respectively) and to convention committees filing Form 4. For more information on the rules that apply to electronic filing, see the Commission's Electronic Filing Overview.
February 3, 2011 New Contribution Limits Now Available. Certain contribution limits are indexed for inflation each election cycle. The adjusted limits for the 2011-2012 cycle are now available at http://www.fec.gov/ans/answers_general.shtml#How_much_can_I_contribute.
January 31, 2011 Switching Filing Frequency? Party committees that do not conduct reportable federal election activity and all PACs have the option to choose to file reports on a "monthly" or "quarterly" filing schedule. Some committees prefer to file reports on a monthly basis during a federal election year, and on a less-frequent basis during a nonfederal election year (such as 2011). Unauthorized committees are permitted to switch filing frequencies one time per year. To switch your committee's filing frequency in 2011, attach a letter (paper filers only) or a Form 99 to your year-end report (due today) indicating that you will now be filing reports on the other schedule. If you are switching from monthly to quarterly, be aware that quarterly filers actually file only twice in non-election years (a mid-year report due July 31, 2011 and a year-end report due January 31, 2012).
January 24, 2011 Year-End Reporting Reminder for all Committees. Year-End reports covering activity through December 31 are due Monday, January 31. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm EST on January 31 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4. The E-Filing Office can also be reached locally at 202-694-1307.
January 17, 2011 Register Now for FEC Party Seminar. Registration is now open for the FEC's seminar on federal campaign finance law for political party committees, to be held on March 2 in Washington DC at the FEC's headquarters. For information and registration materials, visit http://www.fec.gov/info/conferences/2011/partyseminar.shtml.
January 10, 2011 Adjusted Limits for 2011-12 Coming Soon. As you may know, some of the limits on contributions to federal candidates and committees are adjusted each election cycle to account for changes in the consumer price index (CPI). The FEC publishes the adjusted limits immediately after it receives the CPI figures from the Department of Labor -- typically in February of odd-numbered years. In the meantime, the Commission encourages donors not to exceed the limits for the previous election cycle. We'll publish a special Tip for Treasurers to announce the new limits, so you'll be among the first to know.
January 3, 2011 2011 Reporting Dates Are Now Available. The Commission has posted on its web site the 2011 reporting schedules for candidates, parties and PACs. Grab your new calendar and make a note of the due dates!

 

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