PRIMARY ELECTION FILING INFORMATION
PLEASE NOTE: The Commission provides reminders of upcoming filing dates as a courtesy to help committees comply with the filing deadlines set forth in the Act and Commission regulations. Committee treasurers must comply with all applicable filing deadlines established by law, and the lack of prior notice does not constitute an excuse for failing to comply with any filing deadline.
WHO MUST FILE
Principal campaign committees of congressional candidates 1 (including unopposed candidates and candidates whose names do not appear on the ballot) who seek nomination in the primary must file the applicable reports and notices.2 Before a committee can stop filing with the FEC, it must file a termination report with the Commission. Committees must continue to file reports until the Commission notifies them in writing that their termination report has been accepted.
METHODS OF FILING REPORTS
Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing deadline. For additional information, call the FEC's Electronic Filing office at (800) 424-9530 or (202) 694-1642.
Under the Commission’s mandatory electronic filing regulations, U.S. House committees that receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year, or that have reason to expect to do so, must file all reports and statements with the FEC electronically. Other U.S. House committees may voluntarily file electronically; however, any entity that files electronically, whether required to do so or not, must comply with the electronic filing rules. U.S. Senate committees that file with the Secretary of the Senate are not subject to the mandatory electronic filing rules, but may file an unofficial copy of their reports with the Commission in order to speed disclosure.
Registered & Certified Mail
Reports sent by Registered or Certified Mail must be postmarked on or before the mailing deadline to be considered timely filed. A committee sending its reports by Certified Mail should keep its certified mailing receipt with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark as proof of filing because the USPS does not keep complete records of items sent by Certified Mail. A committee sending its report by Registered Mail should keep its proof of mailing. Please note that a Certificate of Mailing from the USPS is not sufficient to prove that a report is timely filed using Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail.
Reports filed via overnight mail will be considered timely filed if the report is received by the delivery service on or before the mailing deadline. “Overnight mail” includes Priority or Express Mail having a delivery confirmation, or an overnight service with which the report is scheduled for next business day delivery and is recorded in the service’s on-line tracking system.
Other Means of Filing
Reports filed by any other means--including first class mail and courier--must be received by the Commission (or for Senate committees, the Secretary of the Senate) before the close of business on the last business day before the filing deadline.
48 HOUR NOTICES ON CONTRIBUTIONS
Notices are required if the committee receives any contribution (including in-kind gifts or advances of goods or services; loans from the candidate or other non-bank sources; and guarantees or endorsements of bank loans to the candidate or committee) of $1,000 or more per source during the applicable reporting period.
The notices, which may be filed using Form 6 [PDF], or under limited circumstances Form 10 [PDF] (see form instructions [PDF] for details), must reach the appropriate federal and/or state filing office(s) within 48 hours of the committee’s receipt of the contribution(s). U.S. Senate candidates must transmit the notices to the Secretary of the Senate at (202) 224-1851. Campaign committees that file electronically MUST submit their 48-hour notices electronically. U.S. House candidates faxing 48-hour notices should transmit them to the FEC at (202) 219-0174.
Treasurer Responsibility. Treasurers of political committees are responsible for both the timeliness and the accuracy of all reports. They may be subject to monetary penalties if reports are inaccurate or are not filed on time.
For additional information, see the Commission’s Statement of Policy Regarding Treasurers Subject to Enforcement Proceedings [PDF].
Administrative Fine Program. Under the Administrative Fine Program, political committees and their treasurers who fail to file their reports on time may be subject to civil money penalties up to $16,000 (or more for repeat late- and non-filers). 3
Report Format. In addition, political committees that file illegible reports or use non-FEC forms (except for FEC-approved, computer-generated forms) will be required to refile their reports.
Electronic Filers Must File Electronically. Electronic filers who instead file on paper, or who submit an electronic report (either by direct transmission, 3.5” diskette or CD) that does not pass the validation program by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing deadline, will be considered non-filers and may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative fines.
IMPORTANT FILING INFORMATION - PAPER FILERS
In response to the anthrax threat, the U.S. Postal Service is irradiating mail directed to many federal agencies, including the FEC and the Secretary of the Senate. 4 This process has not only delayed mail delivery, it has also damaged and in some cases destroyed pieces of mail. As a result, committees that file reports with the FEC may want to consider submitting their reports by some means other than U.S. mail. Alternative methods include electronic filing, overnight mail service, and hand delivery.
1 Generally, an individual becomes a candidate for Federal office (and thus triggers registration and reporting obligations) when his or her campaign exceeds $5,000 in either contributions received or expenditures made. If the campaign has not crossed the $5,000 threshold, it is not required to file reports.
See 11 CFR 100.3(a).
2 If the campaign has more than one authorized committee, the principal campaign committee must also file a consolidated report Form 3Z [PDF].
3 Penalties for late- or non-filing of 48-hour notices are based on the amount of contributions not timely disclosed. As a result, these penalties may exceed $16,000, even for first-time violations.
4 Senate committees should contact the Secretary of the Senate at (202) 224-0322 for more information on filing reports via US mail.
FOR INFORMATION, CALL: (800) 424-9530 or (202) 694-1100