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How to report

Bounced checks

If a committee reports receiving a check and, in a later reporting period, finds that the check bounces because of insufficient funds in the donor’s account, the committee must deduct the amount of the check in its next report.

Checks received and returned by the bank in the same reporting period do not need to be reported.

Reporting on candidate forms

House and Senate committees report bounced checks as a negative entry on Form 3 and select the same Line 11 contribution category that they used to report the original contribution.  

Original contribution was not itemized on a report

If the original contribution was not itemized on a previous report, then the committee subtracts the amount of the check from the total for the appropriate category of receipts.  The reduced total is entered on the Detailed Summary Page and is not itemized on Schedule A.

Original contribution was itemized on a report

If the committee previously itemized receiving the contribution on a report, itemize the return of the check as a negative entry on the appropriate Schedule A.


The committee received a contribution from Jane Smith and disclosed it on their previous report.  Jane's check bounced, and the committee discloses this on Schedule A, supporting Line 11(a)(i) - the same line used to report Jane's initial contribution.  The committee includes her name, address, employer, occupation, and election designation as well as the date the that the check bounced.  Note that the committee entered the amount as a negative entry and included a notation that this was a "Bounced Check."

Reporting with FECFile

To enter a bounced check, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on the line used to report the original contribution  - Line 11(a), 11(b) or 11(c) - and select ”new.”  Enter the amount of the bounced check as a negative amount.

Learn more about reporting receipts in FECFile