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How to report

Staff reimbursements

A staff reimbursement occurs when any individual, including a volunteer, a committee staff member or the candidate, uses his or her personal funds or personal credit to pay a vendor for a campaign expense and is later reimbursed by the committee.

Travel and non-travel reimbursements have different reporting rules. This example covers reimbursements for non-travel staff advances. See travel reimbursements for more information.

Reporting on candidate forms

House and Senate committees report staff advances and reimbursements on Form 3, Line 17. Reporting this transaction will depend on whether the staff advance was made and reimbursed in the same reporting period or in different reporting periods.

Non-travel advances made and reimbursed in the same reporting period

Reporting the original advance

The original advance does not always need to be reported.

  • Do not report the original advance unless, at the end of the reporting period, the amount of previous contributions in the election cycle from the person making the advance plus the amount of the advance minus the amount of the reimbursement is greater than $200 (i.e., previous contributions + the advance - the reimbursement > $200).

  • If the advance needs to be reported, disclose it as a memo entry in the “Individual contributions category on Schedule A supporting Line 11(a)(i).

Reporting the reimbursement

Report the reimbursement in the “Operating expenditure” category on Line 17. If reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize the reimbursement on Schedule B. Add a note that references the memo entry on Schedule A if the advance was itemized.

If an individual’s payment on behalf of the committee exceeds $200 in an election cycle to any single vendor, then the committee must identify the ultimate payee (the vendor) in a separate memo entry on Schedule B. Each memo entry must include the name and address of the vendor, as well as the date, amount and purpose of the payment.

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The committee reports the reimbursement to Alexander Hamilton on Line 17, disclosing his address, reimbursement date and amount, and a clear purpose of disbursement, "Reimbursement: see below."

The committee also reports the original vendors where Alexander spent money as memo entries.  In this case, he spent money at ABC printers.  The committee includes the original vendor's address, date Alexander spent the money at the vendor, amount, and a clear purpose of disbursement, "Printing Expenses."

Non-travel advances made and reimbursed in different reporting periods

Reporting the original advance

The original advance does not always need to be reported.

  • Do not report the original advance unless, at the end of the reporting period, the amount of previous contributions in the election cycle from the person making the advance plus the amount of the advance minus the amount of the reimbursement is greater than $200 (i.e., previous contributions + the advance - the reimbursement > $200).

  • If the advance needs to be reported, disclose it as a memo entry in the “Individual contributions category on Schedule A supporting Line 11(a)(i).

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The committee was required to disclose the original advance from Paul Revere as a memo entry on Line 11(a)(i).  The memo entry shows Paul's address, employer, and occupation, as well as the date the advance was made and the amount of the advance.  The committee included a notation "Staff Advance: Overnight Delivery Services."

Reporting the outstanding advance as a debt

Report the amount of the advance outstanding at the end of the reporting period as a debt on Schedule D if it exceeds $500 or has been outstanding for more than 60 days.  Schedule D will be reported continuously until the debt is paid off.

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The committee also discloses the advance as a debt on Schedule D, supporting Line 10. Schedule D will be reported with every report until this debt is paid. It discloses Paul's address information and a purpose for the debt, "Overnight Delivery Services." The committee shows $0 debt outstanding at the beginning of the period, $650 incurred this period, $0 payments made, and an outstanding balance of $650 at the end of the reporting period. 

When the committee makes payments on this debt, it will show payments in the "payment this period" field and decrease the outstanding balance at the end of the reporting period.

Reporting the reimbursement

Report the reimbursement, once it’s made, in the “Operating expenditure” category on Line 17. If reimbursements to that person exceed $200 in the election cycle, itemize the reimbursement on Schedule B. Add a note that references the memo entry on Schedule A if the advance was itemized.

If an individual’s payment on behalf of the committee exceeds $200 in an election cycle to any single vendor, then the committee must identify the ultimate payee (the vendor) in a separate memo entry on Schedule B. Each memo entry must include the name and address of the vendor, as well as the date, amount and purpose of the payment.

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The committee shows paying the advance on both  Schedule D (showing the ongoing debt) and on Schedule B.  

The committee reports the reimbursement to Paul on Line 17, disclosing his address, reimbursement date and amount, and a clear purpose of disbursement, "Repayment of staff advance: see below."

The committee also reports the original vendors where Paul spent money as memo entries.  In this case, he spent money at Speedy Delivery.  The committee includes the original vendor's address, date Paul spent the money at the vendor, amount, and a clear purpose of disbursement, "Overnight Delivery Services."

In addition, if the staff advance was reported as a debt, the committee will also show the debt payment on the debt schedule in the "payment this period" field, and the total amount of the debt outstanding to this vendor at the end of the period will decrease.

Reporting with FECFile

To enter an original staff advance as a memo entry on Schedule A, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 11a Individual contributions” and select “new.” Check the “memo” box and add a description, such as “staff advance,” in the description field.

To enter the staff reimbursement, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 17 Operating expenditures” and select “new.” To add memo entries for the vendors, right click on the reimbursement, select “Transaction Split.” Enter each vendor by clicking “add new.”

To enter the staff advance as a debt, got to the Summary Page tab, double click on “Line 10 Other debts owed by the committee” and enter the debt.