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How to report

Operating expenditures

Reporting on Form 3X

Party committees report disbursements for operating expenditures that were paid for with 100% federal funds and are not federal election activity (FEA) on Schedule B, supporting Line 21(b), when it:

  • Exceeds $200 or
  • Aggregates over $200 when added to other disbursements made to the same payee during the calendar year

Note: shared federal/nonfederal operating expenditures must be itemized regardless of amount. Learn more about reporting allocated administrative expenditures and allocated fundraising expenditures.

To itemize a disbursement, the committee discloses:

  • Name of payee
  • Address of payee
  • Purpose of disbursement (a brief description of why the disbursement was made)
  • Date of disbursement
  • Amount of disbursement
Party committee itemization of a disbursement

The committee reports spending $500 on developing a website on Line 21(b). It includes the vendor’s name (Graphos Printing), address, date of disbursement, and the amount spent. The committee also includes a clear purpose of disbursement, “website development.“


For reporting purposes, the “purpose” of disbursement refers to a brief statement or description about the reason for the disbursement. The description must be sufficiently specific, when considered within the context of the payee’s identity, to make the reason for the disbursement clear. The Commission has published a non-exhaustive list of acceptable and unacceptable purpose descriptions.

Reporting original vendors

In cases where the committee is reimbursing an individual or making credit card payments, the committee may be required to disclose the original vendors as memo items. Disbursements that often require reporting original vendors include:

Reporting with FECFile

To enter an operating expenditure, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 21(b) Other federal operating expenditures” and select ”new.”