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How to report

Operating expenditures

Operating expenditures - also called administrative expenses and fundraising expenses - may be reportable by an SSF, depending on who paid for the expenditure:

  • If the connected organization pays for the operating expenditure, then the SSF does not report it.
  • If the SSF pays for the operating expenditure, then the SSF will report it.
  • If the SSF pays for the operating expenditure and the connected organization reimburses the SSF, the SSF will report both the operating expenditure and the reimbursement. The reimbursement must take place no later than 30 calendar days after the expense was paid.

Reporting on PAC forms

SSFs report making disbursements for operating expenditures on Form 3X, Line 21(b). An operating expenditure is itemized on Schedule B, supporting Line 21(b), when it:

  • Exceeds $200 or
  • Aggregates over $200 when added to other disbursements made to the same payee during the calendar year

To itemize a disbursement, the committee discloses:

  • Name of payee
  • Address of payee
  • Purpose of disbursement (a brief description of why the disbursement was made)
  • Date of disbursement
  • Amount of disbursement

The committee reports spending $500.00 on developing a website on Line 21(b). It includes the vendor's name, Graphos Printing, address, date of disbursement, and the amount spent. The committee also includes a clear purpose of disbursement, "PAC website development."


For reporting purposes, the “purpose” of disbursement refers to a brief statement or description about the reason for the disbursement. The description must be sufficiently specific, when considered within the context of the payee’s identity, to make the reason for the disbursement clear. The Commission has published a non-exhaustive list of acceptable and unacceptable purpose descriptions.

Reporting original vendors

In cases where the committee is reimbursing an individual or making credit card payments, the committee may be required to disclose the original vendors as memo items. Disbursements that often require reporting original vendors include:

Reporting with FECFile

To enter an operating expenditure, go to the Summary Page tab, right click on “Line 21(b) Other federal operating expenditures” and select ”new.”