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Terminating a committee

To close down committee operations, a committee must file a termination report.

Committees can file a termination report when their committee meets all of these criteria:

  • It no longer receives (or intends to receive) contributions.
  • It no longer makes (or intends to make) expenditures.

Committees should use their regular campaign finance disclosure form to file the termination report (Form 3, 3X or 3P, depending on your committee type). Check the “Termination Report” box on line 4 of that form’s cover page.

For example, a committee can combine your termination report with an already scheduled filing by checking the “Termination Report” box on its May monthly report. However, a termination report must include the following information:

  • All receipts and disbursements not previously reported—this includes accounting of any debt retirement.
  • How the committee will use any remaining committee funds and assets.

If a committee is involved in an FEC enforcement action, audit or litigation, it cannot terminate. The committee must file regularly until that matter is resolved.

Once the FEC notifies a committee that the Commission has accepted its termination report, the committee can stop filing regular campaign finance disclosure reports with the FEC.

Committees shouldn't stop filing just because they checked the “Termination Report” box on their regular campaign finance disclosure form. Committees must file regularly scheduled reports until the Commission notifies them in writing that it has granted their request to terminate.

Administrative termination

When determining a committee’s eligibility for administrative termination, the Commission will consider the following factors:

  • The committee is not involved in any matter before the Commission (such as a MUR, an audit, litigation or an administrative fine case).
  • The committee’s aggregate reported financial activity in one year is less than $5,000.
  • The committee’s reports disclose no receipt of contributions for the previous year.
  • The committee’s last report disclosed minimal expenditures.
  • The committee’s primary purpose for filing its reports has been to disclose outstanding debts and obligations.
  • The committee has failed to file reports for the previous year.
  • The committee’s last report disclosed that the debts owed to the committee were not substantial.
  • The committee’s last report disclosed that the committee’s outstanding debts and obligations do not appear to present a possible violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act’s contribution prohibitions and limitations.
  • The committee’s outstanding debts and obligations exceed the total of the committee’s reported cash on hand balance.

Procedures for requesting administrative termination

When requesting administrative termination, the committee’s treasurer should set forth the committee’s eligibility in writing, based on the factors listed under “criteria for administrative termination.” In addition, with respect to any outstanding debts, the committee’s request should describe its compliance with debt settlement procedures:

  • The terms and conditions of the initial extension of credit;
  • Steps taken by the committee to repay the debt; and
  • Efforts made by the creditors to obtain payment.

Requests should be addressed to the Commission’s Reports Analysis Division.

Once the Commission completes its review of the request, the committee will be sent a written notification of the Commission’s approval or disapproval. Committees must continue to file regular reports until the request for administrative termination has been approved.