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Contribution limits to nonconnected PACs

Under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act), contributions are subject to limits. This page examines the rules concerning the limits placed on contributions to a nonconnected PAC. The limits apply to all types of contributions (except contributions made to a Super PAC or a non-contribution account of a Hybrid PAC).

It is important to note that a committee is prohibited from retaining contributions that exceed the limits. In the event that a committee receives excessive contributions, it must follow special procedures for handling such funds.

Recipient
Candidate committee PAC† (SSF and nonconnected) Party committee: state/district/local Party committee: national Additional national party committee accounts‡
Donor Individual $2,700* per election $5,000 per year $10,000 per year (combined) $33,900* per year $101,700* per account, per year
Candidate committee $2,000 per election $5,000 per year Unlimited transfers Unlimited transfers
PAC: multicandidate $5,000 per election $5,000 per year $5,000 per year (combined) $15,000 per year $45,000 per account, per year
PAC: nonmulticandidate $2,700* per election $5,000 per year $10,000 per year (combined) $33,900* per year $101,700* per account, per year
Party committee: state/district/local $5,000 per election $5,000 per year Unlimited transfers Unlimited transfers
Party committee: national $5,000 per election** $5,000 per year Unlimited transfers Unlimited transfers

* Indexed for inflation in odd-numbered years.

† “PAC” here refers to a committee that makes contributions to other federal political committees. Independent-expenditure-only political committees (sometimes called “Super PACs”) may accept unlimited contributions, including from corporations and labor organizations.

‡ The limits in this column apply to a national party committee’s accounts for: (i) the presidential nominating convention; (ii) election recounts and contests and other legal proceedings; and (iii) national party headquarters buildings. A party’s national committee, Senate campaign committee and House campaign committee are each considered separate national party committees with separate limits. Only a national party committee, not the parties’ national congressional campaign committees, may have an account for the presidential nominating convention.

**Additionally, a national party committee and its Senatorial campaign committee may contribute up to $47,400 combined per campaign to each Senate candidate.

$5,000 limit for traditional nonconnected PACs

A nonconnected committee may receive up to $5,000 per calendar year from any contributor.

Candidate limit may apply

A contribution received by a nonconnected committee will count against the contributor’s per-candidate, per-election limits for a candidate if:

  • The recipient committee is an unauthorized single-candidate committee (i.e., a nonconnected committee that is registered with the FEC as supporting only one specific candidate);
  • The contributor knows that a substantial portion of his or her contribution will be given to or spent on behalf of a particular candidate; or
  • The contributor retains control over the funds after making the contribution (for example, the contributor could later direct the contributed amount to a particular candidate).

Contributions from spouses

Spouses have separate $5,000 limits, even if only one spouse has an income. A couple may make a joint contribution (part of which would be attributed to each).

Joint contributions

A joint contribution is a contribution that is made by more than one person using a single check or other written instrument. A joint contribution represents the personal funds of each donor, so each donor must sign either the check or an accompanying statement.

Cash contributions and anonymous contributions

Contributions in cash are limited to $100 or less. Anonymous contributions are limited to $50 or less.

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