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Independent expenditures

In some circumstances, a nonconnected committee may need to file specific and separate reports of independent expenditures. These are called 24- and 48-Hour Reports.

For 24- and 48-Hour Reports, a nonconnected committee will add up (aggregate) the money it spends on independent expenditures to determine whether it must file these reports. Aggregate on a per-election and per-office basis within each calendar year. For example:

  • Do aggregate an expenditure made on behalf of a candidate with one made against his or her opponent. 
  • Don’t aggregate an expenditure made on behalf of a Senate candidate with an expenditure made on behalf of a House candidate. 
  • Don’t aggregate two expenditures made on behalf of the same candidate in different elections (for example, if one is during a primary election and the other is during a general election).

48-Hour Reports

At any time during a calendar year through the 20th day before a given election, a nonconnected committee must report each time it makes independent expenditures with an aggregate value of $10,000 or more.

48-Hour Reports (Form 3X, Schedule E) are due within 48 hours of each qualifying independent expenditure. This means that reports are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the second day after the expenditure was “publicly distributed or otherwise publicly disseminated.”

The nonconnected committee will also report these expenditures on Schedule E of its next regularly scheduled Form 3X.

Access the Form 3X, Schedule E PDF and instructions.

24-Hour Reports

After the 20th day but more than 24 hours before an election, a nonconnected committee must report any independent expenditures with an aggregate value of $1,000 or more with respect to a given election.

24-Hour Reports (Form 3X, Schedule E) are due within 24 hours of each qualifying independent expenditure. This means that reports are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the following day after the expenditure was “publicly distributed or otherwise publicly disseminated.”

The nonconnected committee will also report these expenditures on Schedule E of its next regularly scheduled Form 3X.

Access the Form 3X, Schedule E PDF and instructions.