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Supplemental filing information for congressional committees (2021)

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 2021. [2]

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 2022 election cycle (and thus trigger registration and reporting requirements) must file quarterly reports through 2022, 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

For committees not required to file electronically, paper reports filed using registered, certified or overnight [3] mail must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing deadline. Paper reports filed using first class mail must be received by the FEC by the close of business on the filing deadline.


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 $23,944 (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 $19,300 during the applicable reporting periods. Learn more about the lobbyist bundling disclosure requirements.

Access the Form 3L PDF and instructions.

Important filing information: Paper filers

The U.S. Postal Service irradiates mail directed to many federal agencies, including the FEC. This process not only delays mail delivery, it also damages and in some cases destroys 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 or delivery 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.

[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 $23,944, even for first-time violations.