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Recording disbursements

The committee must keep a record of each disbursement, including:

  • Amount;
  • Date;
  • Name and address of payee; and
  • Purpose (a brief but specific description of why the disbursement was made, such as “dinner expense” or “postage”).

Best efforts to document disbursements

If a treasurer fails to receive a receipt, invoice or canceled check (required for disbursements exceeding $200), he or she can demonstrate his or her best efforts to obtain the information by making at least one written effort per transaction to obtain a duplicate copy of the needed documentation.

Disbursements exceeding $200

Additionally, for each single disbursement that exceeds $200, the committee must keep a receipt, invoice or canceled check.

Travel expenses

Advances for travel and subsistence

When a committee advances $500 or less to the candidate, staff members or volunteers for travel expenses—including transportation, food and lodging—the committee must retain:

  • The expense voucher or other expense account documentation; and
  • The canceled check made out to the individual receiving the payment.

When a committee advances more than $500 for travel and subsistence expenses, the committee must obtain and retain:

  • A receipt (or invoice) from the person providing goods or services in excess of $200 per transaction to the person requesting the advance;
  • A cancelled check from the person requesting the advance showing payment to the person providing goods or service; or
  • A monthly credit card billing statement or customer receipt from the person requesting the advance, and that person’s cancelled check showing payment of such bill.

Mixed use

In the event of travel or vehicle expenses that commingle personal and campaign or officeholder activity, the beneficiary of the personal use expenses must reimburse the committee within 30 days for the entire amount associated with the personal activities (the amount over and above what the cost would have been had the trip/vehicle use been solely for campaign/officeholder-related purposes).

The committee must maintain logs of the expenses to help the Commission determine on a case-by-case basis what portion was for personal use rather than for campaign-related activity or officeholder duties.

Personal funds

Special rules apply when the candidate or another individual uses his or her personal funds to pay for travel expenses and is later reimbursed.

Use of aircraft

The campaign must keep in its records an itinerary showing the departure and arrival cities and the dates of departure and arrival; a list of all passengers on such trip, along with a list of which passengers are and are not campaign travelers or security personnel; and the commercial fare or rental charge available for a comparable conveyance of sufficient size.

Credit card transactions

For credit card transactions, the committee must retain:

  • A monthly billing statement; or
  • The customer receipt for each transaction and the canceled check used to pay the credit card account.

Credit union checks or share drafts

Carbon copies of share drafts or checks drawn on credit union accounts may be used as records, provided the monthly account statement (showing that the draft or check was paid by the credit union) is also retained.

Joint fundraising disbursements

The joint fundraising representative must retain, for three years, records on all disbursements made for the joint fundraiser. If a commercial fundraising firm or agent is used, it must forward required records on disbursements to the joint fundraising representative.