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  • FEC Record: Reporting

October reporting reminder (2018)

September 26, 2018

The following reports are due in October:

  • All authorized committees of House and Senate candidates must file a quarterly report by October 15, 2018. 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);
  • National party committees and other political committees following a monthly filing schedule must file a monthly report by October 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). The report covers activity for the month of September; and
  • 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 25 (close of books, October 17). 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 1-17 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 22. If using overnight mail, the delivery service must receive the report on or before October 22. See "Timely filing for paper filers" in this article.

Since the October 20 deadline falls on a weekend in 2018, monthly filers using methods other than electronic filing or registered, certified or overnight mail must ensure that their reports are received by the Commission’s close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, October 19).

Quarterly filers that participate in primary elections or special elections may need to file pre- and post-election reports that are not accounted for above. Remember, reporting periods always begin the day after the closing date of the last report filed. Additionally, campaign committees must file 48-hour notices of contributions of $1,000 or more received less than 20 days but more than 48 hours before any election in which the candidate participates.

The Commission will host reporting and FECFile webinars for candidates on October 3 and for PACs and party committees on October 4 to help filers prepare their reports. Additional reporting help is always just a phone call away at 800-424-9530. Select option 4 for technical assistance with electronic filing, option 5 to speak with the analyst who reviews your committee’s reports or option 6 to speak with an information specialist.

Important: change in filing for Senate candidates and committees

On September 21, 2018, a new law was enacted which contained a provision that makes the Federal Election Commission (FEC) the official point of entry for all Senate filings, effective immediately. Filers who previously submitted reports to the Secretary of the Senate must submit all reports due on or after September 21, 2018, directly to the FEC. Additionally, Senate filers are now subject to the same electronic filing requirements that apply to all other filers. In order to file electronically, all Senate filers must obtain an electronic filing password. Senate filers who previously voluntarily filed electronic versions of their reports with the FEC will need to obtain a new electronic filing password, as the password previously used is no longer valid. Additionally, Senate filers who utilized voluntary electronic filing may need to update settings in their campaign finance software in order to file with the FEC. See "Filing electronically" in this article for more information.

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 email, 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 the Form 1, electronic filers must submit the 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 prior notices of upcoming filing deadlines as a courtesy to help committees comply with the filing requirements 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 have reason to expect to do so — must file all reports and statements electronically.

Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the filing date. 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.

The Commission’s electronic filing software, FECFile, is free and can be downloaded from the FEC's website. All reports filed after August 15, 2018, must be filed in version 8.3 of the electronic filing software. Reports filed in previous versions of the software 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. Accordingly, quarterly reports sent by registered or certified mail must be postmarked on or before the filing deadline to be considered timely filed. 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.

Overnight mail

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 Mail 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. 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.

Other means of filing

Reports sent by other means — including first class mail and courier — must be received by the FEC before close of business on the filing deadline. (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 from the FEC's website.

Authorized committees of candidates

House and Senate candidates

All campaigns that have a reporting obligation must file quarterly reports. Generally, an individual becomes a candidate for federal office, thus triggering registration and reporting obligations, when his or her campaign exceeds $5,000 in either contributions received or expenditures made. If the campaign has not exceeded the $5,000 threshold, it is not required to file reports.

Presidential candidates

All presidential committees must file on either a monthly or a quarterly schedule. Presidential committees able to change their reporting schedule and that wish to do so are required to notify the Commission in writing.

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 in 2018. Committees that do not engage in reportable “federal election activity” may file on a quarterly schedule in 2018.

National party committees

National committees of political parties must file on a monthly schedule in 2018.

Other political committees

Political committees (PACs), including separate segregated funds, committees with non-contribution accounts (also sometimes called “Hybrid” PACs), independent expenditure-only committees (Super PACs) and other nonconnected committees that filed on a semi-annual schedule in 2017 must file on a quarterly schedule in 2018. PACs that filed on a monthly schedule in 2017 must continue to file on a monthly schedule in 2018.

Changing filing frequency

PACs may change their filing schedule once a year, but must first notify the Commission in writing (or electronically, if electronic filers). A committee may change its filing frequency only once a year.

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

Additional information

For more information on 2018 reporting dates:

  • Call and request the reporting tables from the FEC at 800/424-9530 (menu option 6) or 202/694-1100; or
  • Visit the FEC’s Dates and deadlines page to view the reporting tables online.

Citations

Regulations

11 CFR 100.3(a)
Definition of candidate

11 CFR 100.19
Timely filed reports; electronically filed reports

11 CFR 100.29(a)
Definition of electioneering communication

11 CFR 104.4(b)(2) and (c), 104.5(g) and 109.10(c) and (d)
Reports of independent expenditures made at any time up to and including the 20th day before an election and those made less than 20 days, but more than 24 hours before the day of an election

11 CFR 104.5(a)-(f), (h) and (i)
Filing dates for candidates; filing dates for committees that are not authorized committees of candidates; date of filing; 48-hour notice of contributions; special election reports; retaining proof of mailing

11 CFR 104.18(a)(1)-(2) and (e)
Mandatory electronic filing and validation program

11 CFR 104.22(a)(5) and (b)
Disclosure of bundling by lobbyist/registrants and lobbyist/registrant PAC reporting requirement 

11 CFR 110.17(e)(2) and (f)
Lobbyist/registrant and lobbyist/registrant PAC contribution bundling disclosure threshold

  • Author 
    • David Garr
    • Communications Specialist