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How to handle excessive contributions made by the PAC

Redesignation

A candidate committee may ask a nonconnected committee to redesignate a contribution (or a portion of it) for a different election. Redesignation permits the donor to remedy an excessive contribution so that the excessive portion counts against a different election limit.

A nonconnected committee may comply with a request for redesignation by returning a signed statement redesignating the contribution. The candidate committee must receive the redesignation within 60 days of its receipt of the original contribution. Otherwise, the candidate must refund the excessive portion to the committee.

In some cases, a campaign may “presumptively redesignate” an excessive primary contribution to the general election if the redesignation would not result in another excessive contribution. Campaigns may presumptively redesignate a contribution from non-multicandidate PACs, but not from multicandidate PACs.

The committee may always request a refund from the candidate instead of providing the redesignation.

Reporting redesignations of contributions

Use memo entries to show any redesignations of contributions.

If a contribution to a candidate is redesignated for a different election after the close of books for the reporting period during which the contribution was made, show the redesignation on the next report and indicate the report on which the original contribution was itemized.

Example of reporting redesignations made by nonconnected PAC

A nonconnected committee originally made a $10,000 contribution to a candidate’s campaign, intending half of it to count toward the general election. The nonconnected committee itemized the contribution in its April quarterly report. The following month, the campaign requested that the committee redesignate the excessive $5,000 for the general election campaign. The nonconnected committee then itemized the redesignation in its July quarterly report.

Refunds received by the committee

If a committee receives a refund of a contribution it has made, it must report the refund in one of two ways, depending on the circumstances described.

Original check not deposited

If a check to a candidate committee or other political committee is not deposited (e.g., if it is returned uncashed or is lost), report the amount as a negative entry on a Schedule B for Line 23, “Contributions to Federal Candidates and Other Political Committees.” (The amount is subtracted from the total for Line 23.)

Refunded by recipient’s check

If the recipient committee deposits the contribution and then refunds it with its own check, itemize the refund, regardless of amount, on a Schedule A for Line 16, “Refunds of Contributions.”

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