The following reports are due in April:
- All authorized committees of House and Senate candidates must file a quarterly report by April 15, 2017. The report covers financial activity from January 1 (or the day after the closing date of the last report) through March 31;
- Authorized committees of Presidential candidates must file a report by April 15, if they are quarterly filers (the report covers financial activity from January 1 through March 31), or by April 20, if they are monthly filers (the report covers activity for the month of March); and
- National party committees, political action committees (PACs) and other committees following a monthly filing schedule must file a monthly report by April 20. This includes state, district and local party committees that engage in reportable “federal election activity” (see the “State, District and Local Party Committees” section below). The report covers activity for the month of March.
- All other PACs and party committees will next file a Mid-Year Report, due July 31. 11 CFR 104.5.
Participation in special elections may trigger additional pre- and post-election reports or otherwise alter a committee’s filing schedule. For instance, the April quarterly report is waived for committees involved in the April 18 special general election in Georgia's 6th congressional district, and for committees involved in the May 2 special primary election in South Carolina’s 5th congressional district. Remember, reporting periods always begin with day after the the closing date of the last report filed.
Notification of filing deadlines
In addition to publishing this article and online reporting tables, the Commission notifies committees of filing deadlines through reporting reminders called prior notices. Prior notices are distributed exclusively by electronic mail, so every committee should ensure that the email address on its Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1) is current. Each committee may list up to two email addresses. To amend Form 1, electronic filers must submit Form 1 filled out in its entirety. Paper filers should include only the committee’s name, address, FEC identification number and the updated or changed portions of the form. Committees may also use our online webform to update their information.
The Commission provides reminders of upcoming filing dates as a courtesy to help committees comply with the filing deadlines set forth in the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and Commission regulations. Committee treasurers are responsible for filing committee reports on time. Not receiving a prior notice does not excuse committee treasurers for failing to comply with any filing deadline.
Under the Commission’s mandatory electronic filing regulations, individuals and organizations required to file with the FEC that receive contributions or make expenditures, including independent expenditures, aggregating in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year — or that have reason to expect to do so — must file all reports and statements electronically.
The Commission’s mandatory electronic filing regulation covers individuals and organizations required to file reports of contributions and/or expenditures with the Commission, including any person making an independent expenditure. 11 CFR 104.18(a). Disbursements for "electioneering communications" are not considered "expenditures" and thus do not count toward the $50,000 threshold for mandatory electronic filing.
Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing date. 11 CFR 100.19(c). Electronic filers who file on paper or submit an electronic report that does not pass the Commission’s validation program by that time on the filing deadline will be considered nonfilers and may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative fines. 11 CFR 104.18(a)(2) and (e).
Senate campaigns and other committees that file with the Secretary of the Senate must file their FEC reports on paper, but may file an additional unofficial electronic copy of their report with the Commission in order to enhance disclosure.
The Commission’s electronic filing software, FECFile, is free and can be downloaded at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/filing-reports/fecfile-software/. All reports filed after October 11, 2016, must be filed in Format Version 188.8.131.52. Reports filed in previous formats will not be accepted. Filers may also use commercial or privately developed software as long as the software meets the Commission’s format specifications, which are available on the Commission's website. Committees using commercial software should contact their vendors to ensure their software meets the latest specifications.
Timely filing for paper filers
Registered and certified mail
Reports sent by registered or certified mail are considered to be filed on the date of their postmark. 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(5) and 11 CFR 104.5(e). Accordingly, quarterly reports sent by registered or certified mail must be postmarked on or before the filing deadline to be considered timely filed. 11 CFR 100.19(b)(1). A committee sending its reports by registered or certified mail should keep its mailing receipt with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark as proof of mailing because the USPS does not keep complete records of items sent by certified or registered mail. 11 CFR 104.5(i).
Reports sent via overnight mail will be considered timely filed if the report is postmarked on or before the filing deadline. "Overnight mail" includes Priority or Priority Express Mail having a delivery confirmation, or an overnight service with which the report is scheduled for next business day delivery and is recorded in the service’s online tracking system. See 11 CFR 100.19(b)(1) and (b)(3)(i). Note that "Express Mail" as referred to in FEC regulations has been renamed "Priority Express Mail" by the USPS.
Reports filed via overnight mail will be considered timely filed if the report is received by the delivery service on or before the mailing/filing deadline.
A committee sending its reports by Priority Mail or Priority Express Mail, or by an overnight delivery service, should keep its proof of mailing or other means of transmittal of its reports. See 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(5) and 11 CFR 100.19(b)(1) and 104.5(e) and (i).
Other means of filing
Reports sent by other means — including first class mail and courier — must be received by the FEC (or the Secretary of the Senate) before close of business on the filing deadline. See 11 CFR 100.19(b)(2) and 104.5(e). (If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, such filers should plan accordingly and file reports by the close of business on the last business day before the filing deadline.)
Forms may be downloaded at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/forms/.
State, district and local party committees
State, district and local party committees that engage in reportable "federal election activity" must file on a monthly schedule. See 11 CFR 300.36(b) and (c)(1). Committees that do not engage in reportable "federal election activity" may file on a semi-annual schedule in 2017. Committees that opt for a quarterly filing schedule would file semi-annual reports during 2017. See 11 CFR 104.5(c)(1)(i).
National party committees
National committees of political parties must file on a monthly schedule. 52 U.S.C. § 30104(a)(4)(B) and 11 CFR 104.5(c)(4).
Political action committees
PACs (separate segregated funds, committees with non-contribution accounts (Hybrid PACs), independent expenditure-only committees (Super PACs) and other nonconnected committees) that filed on a quarterly basis in 2016 file on a semi-annual basis in 2017. Monthly filers continue on the monthly schedule. PACs may change their filing schedule, but must first notify the Commission in writing. Electronic filers must file this request electronically. A committee may change its filing frequency only once per calendar year. 11 CFR 104.5(c). The committee will receive a letter from the Commission approving the frequency change.
For more information on 2017 reporting dates:
- Call and request the reporting tables from the FEC at 800/424-9530 or 202/694-1100; or
- Visit the FEC’s web page at https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/dates-and-deadlines/ to view the reporting tables online.