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How to report


A refund occurs when a committee has actually deposited a contribution in its bank depository and then pays it back to the contributor by issuing a check, or when a committee charges back a contribution electronically credited to the committee's account. The refund will be disclosed on the committee’s reports.

Alternatively, a committee may return a contribution to a donor without depositing it. The return must be made within 10 days of the treasurer’s receipt of the contribution. In this case, the committee does not have to report either the receipt or the return of the contribution.

Reporting on candidate forms

House and Senate committees report refunds in the “Refunds” category on Form 3, Line 20. Use Line 20(a) for refunding contributions from individuals, 20(b) for refunding contributions from political parties, and 20(c) for refunding contributions from other political committees, including political action committees (PACs).

If the committee previously itemized the incoming contribution on Schedule A, then it must itemize the refund on Schedule B.


Since Nellie Custis is an individual, the committee reports refunding her contribution on Line 20(a).  The committee includes her address, date the refund was made, refund amount, and a clear purpose of disbursement, "Contribution Refund."

Reporting with FECFile

To enter a refund, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on the line for the category of refund being made - Line 20(a), 20(b) or 20(c) - and select ”new.”

Learn more about reporting disbursements in FECFile