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How to report

In-kind contributions to candidates

An in-kind contribution is a non-monetary contribution. Goods or services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution. Similarly, when a person or entity pays for services on the committee’s behalf, the payment is an in-kind contribution. An expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate.

Reporting on PAC forms

Political action committees report making an in-kind contribution on Form 3X, Line 23. The committee must itemize contributions to federal candidates on Schedule B for Line 23 regardless of the amount of the contribution. The PAC reports the date the good or service was provided as the date of the contribution.

In addition, payments for in-kind contributions are often made on a different day than the date the contribution was provided to the campaign. In this case, the PAC will also report the payment made for the in-kind contribution as a memo entry on Schedule B for Line 21(b).

Connected organization involvement

To avoid illegal facilitation of contributions by the connected organization, the SSF must pay the full cost of any resources from its connected organization that it uses, such as staff time, catering arrangements, printing costs, email or mailing list use, and the cost of the meeting room. All such costs must be paid in advance.

Step 1: Reporting the in-kind contribution

On Line 23, the committee discloses:

  • The vendor, the vendor’s information, the date the in-kind was provided to the candidate, and the amount
  • A clear purpose of disbursement and an “in-kind” notation
  • Information about the candidate receiving the in-kind, including their name, office sought, state and, if applicable, congressional district, and election.
FE169_InkindContributionSSF.jpg

The PAC discloses giving Al Verroes $975 for an in-kind contribution. It discloses the vendor providing meals, the date the meals were provided, information about the vendor, and that Al is a candidate for Texas' 10th congressional district. The contribution is designated for the 2018 general. The committee includes a clear purpose of disbursement, “In-kind: meals.” 

Step 2: Reporting the payment as a memo entry

In this case, the good or service was provided before the PAC paid the vendor for it. This means that the committee will report a memo entry on Line 21(b) that discloses the date the committee paid the vendor.

FE170_InkindContributionPaymentSSF.jpg

The memo entry on Line 21(b) discloses the date that the committee paid the vendor, information about the vendor and the candidate, a clear purpose of disbursement, and a notation that links the memo entry to the originally disclosed in-kind contribution, “In-kind: See Schedule B, Line 23 of Sept. Monthly.”

Reporting with FECFile

To enter an in-kind contribution given to a candidate, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 23 Contributions to other federal candidates and political committees” and select ”new.”

To enter an in-kind payment as a memo entry, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 21(b) Other federal operating expenditures” and select ”new.”  Check the “memo” box.

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