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How to report

Offsets to operating expenditures

Returns by vendors of deposits, reimbursements for expenses shared by committees, vendor refunds and rebates are considered offsets to operating expenditures.

These receipts are not considered contributions. Note, however, that rebates to campaigns must be offered in the ordinary course of business and on the same terms and conditions as those offered to nonpolitical entities. Otherwise, the rebate may be considered a contribution—a prohibited contribution if a corporation pays the rebate.

Reporting on candidate forms

House and Senate committees report receiving offsets to operating expenditures in the “Offsets to operating expenditures (refunds, rebates, etc.)” category on Form 3, Line 14. The committee must itemize the offset on Schedule A for Line 14 if offsets from the same entity aggregate more than $200 for the election cycle. In the description field, include “refund,” “rebate,” etc., as well as the date of the corresponding disbursement to the vendor.

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The committee overpaid Colonial Communications and received a refund.  The committee reports this offset to an operating expenditure on Line 14 and includes the vendor's name, address, date the refund was received, and includes a clear description noting "refund of overpayment on 03/01/18."  The description connects this refund to the committee's original disbursement to Colonial Communications that was previously reported.

Reporting with FECFile

To enter a an offset to an operating expenditure, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 14 Offsets to operating expenditures (refunds, rebates, etc.)” and select ”new.”

Learn more about reporting receipts in FECFile