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  • FEC Record: Outreach

October reporting reminder (2016)

September 13, 2016

The following reports are due in October:

  • All authorized committees of House and Senate candidates must file a quarterly report by October 15, 2016. The report covers financial activity from July 1 (or the day after the closing date of the last report) through September 30;
  • Authorized committees of presidential candidates must file a report by October 15, if they are quarterly filers (the report covers financial activity from July 1 through September 30), or by October 20, if they are monthly filers (the report covers activity for the month of September); and
  • National party committees and state, district and local party committees that engage in reportable “federal election activity” (see the “State, District and Local Party Committees” section below) must file a monthly report by October 20. All other party committees and political action committees (PACs) that have chosen to file monthly must also file a report on October 20. This report covers activity for the month of September.
  • PACs and party committees following a quarterly reporting schedule must file a quarterly report by October 15, covering activity from July 1 (or the day after the closing date of the last report) through September 30.
  • Pre-General reports are due on October 27 (close of books, October 19). Candidate committees must file this report if their candidate is running in the general election. PACs, parties and all other committees that file quarterly must file this report if they make contributions or expenditures in connection with the general election during the October 1-19 reporting period. PACs and party committees that file on a monthly schedule must file the Pre-General report in lieu of the regular November 20 monthly report. If sent by registered or certified mail, the Pre-General must be postmarked on or before October 24. If using overnight mail, the delivery service must receive the report on or before October 24. See "Timely Filing for Paper Filers."

Since the October 15 deadline falls on a weekend in 2016, quarterly filers using methods other than electronic filing or registered, certified or overnight mail must ensure that their reports are received by the Commission’s (or the Secretary of the Senate’s) close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, October 14).

Quarterly filers that participate in special elections may need to file pre- and post-election reports that are not accounted for above. The coverage periods and due dates for those reports are available on our reporting dates web page. Remember, reporting periods always begin the day after the closing date of the last report filed.

The Commission will host reporting and FECFile webinars for PACs and party committees on September 22 and for candidates on September 28 to help filers prepare their reports.

Notification of Filing Deadlines
In addition to publishing this article and the 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.

Treasurer’s Responsibilities
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.

Filing Electronically
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. [FN1] 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 February 8, 2016, must be filed in Format Version 8.1.0.4. 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, while pre-general reports must be postmarked on or before the mailing deadline (fifteen days before the election). 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).

Overnight Mail. Reports sent via overnight mail [FN2] will be considered timely filed if the report is postmarked on or before the 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/ and are available from FEC Faxline, the agency’s automated fax system (202/501-3413).

State, District and Local Party Committees
As noted above, 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 quarterly basis in 2016. 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 semi-annual basis in 2015 file on a quarterly basis in 2016. Monthly filers continue on a 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 a year. 11 CFR 104.5(c).

The committee will receive a letter from the Commission approving the frequency change.

Additional Information
For more information on 2016 reporting dates:

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1The 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. See 11 CFR 104.18(a).

2 As used here, "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.

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  • Author 
    • Katherine Carothers
    • Sr. Communications Specialist