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Supplemental filing information for congressional committees (2020)

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) must file quarterly reports in 2020. [2] (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.)

NOTE: If a candidate has more than one authorized committee, the principal campaign committee files a consolidated report on Form 3Z in addition to filing the report on Form 3.

Campaigns that raise or spend more than $5,000 for the 2020 election cycle (and thus trigger registration and reporting requirements) must file quarterly reports throughout 2020, even if the candidate plans to retire, withdraws from the race prior to the primary election, loses the primary or drops out of the race prior to the general election.

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

Electronic filing

Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing deadline.

Paper filing: Meeting the filing deadline

Paper report filing options include registered, certified or overnight [3] or First Class Mail.


48-Hour Notices of contributions

The principal campaign committee must file notices if any authorized committees receive 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 period less than 20 days but more than 48 hours before any election in which the candidate is running.

The notices, which may be filed using Form 6, must reach the Federal Election Commission within 48 hours of the committee’s receipt of the contribution(s). Campaign committees that file electronically MUST submit their 48-Hour Notices electronically.

Additional Form 6 filing information can be found at: Webform | PDF | Instructions


Pre- and post-election reports

The principal campaign committee of any candidate participating in a 2020 state primary, nominating convention or runoff election—even if unopposed—must also file a pre-election report 12 days prior to the primary, nominating convention or runoff. The principal campaign committee of a candidate participating in the general election must file Pre- and Post-General election reports.

Compliance

Treasurer responsibility

Committee treasurers 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.

Administrative Fine Program

Under the Administrative Fine Program, political committees and their treasurers who fail to file their reports, or who file late, may be subject to civil money penalties up to $23,664 (or more for repeat late- and non-filers). [4]

Disclosure of lobbyist bundling activity

Principal campaign committees must file Form 3L if they receive two or more bundled contributions from any lobbyist/registrant or lobbyist/registrant PACs that aggregate in excess of $19,000 during the applicable reporting periods. Learn more about the lobbyist bundling disclosure requirements.

Access the PDF and instructions.



FOOTNOTES:

[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.

[2] If a candidate has more than one authorized committee, the principal campaign committee files a consolidated report on Form 3Z in addition to filing on Form 3.

[3] "Overnight mail" includes Priority or Priority 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 online tracking system. Note that "Express Mail" as referred to in FEC regulations has been renamed "Priority Express Mail" by the USPS.

[4] Penalties for late- and non-filing of 48-Hour Notices are based on the amount of contributions received that are not timely disclosed. As a result, these penalties may exceed $23,664, even for first-time violations.

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