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  • FEC Record: Reporting

October reporting reminder

October 1, 2008

The following reports are due in October:

  • All principal campaign committees of House and Senate candidates must file a quarterly report by October 15. The report covers financial activity from July 1 (or the day after the closing date of the last report) through September 30;
  • Principal campaign 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, political action committees (PACs) following a monthly filing schedule and state, district and local party committees that engage in reportable federal election activity must file a monthly report by October 20. This report covers activity for the month of September. Other PACs and party committees must file a quarterly report by October 15; and
  • Pre-General reports are due on October 23 (close of books, October 15). Candidate committees must file this report if their candidate is running in the general election. PACs and party committees that file quarterly must file this report if they make contributions or expenditures in connection with a federal election during the October 1-15 reporting period. PACs and party committees that file on a monthly schedule must file a pre-general report in lieu of the regular November 20 monthly report.

Notification of filing deadlines

In addition to publishing this article, the Commission notifies committees of filing deadlines on its web site, via its automated Faxline and through reporting reminders called prior notices. Since January 1, 2007, prior notices have been distributed exclusively by electronic mail. They are no longer sent to committees via U.S. mail. See December 2006 Record, page 1. For that reason, it is important that every committee update its Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1) to disclose a current e-mail address. 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.

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 Act and Commission regulations. Committee treasurers must comply with all applicable filing deadlines established by law, and the lack of prior notice does not constitute an excuse for failing to comply with any filing deadline.

Please note that filing deadlines are not extended in cases where the filing deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday. Accordingly, reports filed by methods other than Registered, Certified or Overnight Mail, or electronically, must be received by the Commission’s (or the Secretary of the Senate’s) close of business on the last business day before the deadline.

Filing electronically

Under the Commission’s mandatory electronic filing regulations, individuals and organizations that receive contributions or make expenditures, including independent expenditures,¹ in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year—or have reason to expect to do so—must file all reports and statements with the FEC electronically. Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by the Commission by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the applicable filing deadline. Electronic filers who instead file on paper or submit an electronic report that does not pass the Commission’s validation program by the filing deadline will be considered nonfilers and may be subject to enforcement actions, including administrative fines.

Senate committees and other committees that file with the Secretary of the Senate are not subject to the mandatory electronic filing rules.

The Commission’s electronic filing software, FECFile, is free and can be downloaded from the FEC’s web site. New FECFile Version is available for download from the FEC web site at http:// All reports filed after June 9, 2008, must be filed in Format Version 6.2 (the new version). 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 web site. Committees using commercial software should contact their vendors for more information about the Commission’s latest software release.

Timely filing for paper filers

Registered and certified mail

Reports sent by registered or certified mail must be postmarked on or before the mailing deadline to be considered timely filed. A committee sending its reports by certified or registered mail should keep its mailing receipt with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) postmark as proof of filing because the USPS does not keep complete records of items sent by certified mail.

Overnight mail

Reports filed via overnight mail² will be considered timely filed if the report is received by the delivery service on or before the mailing deadline. A committee sending its reports by Express or Priority 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 the Commission’s close of business on the filing deadline. 2 U.S.C. §434(a) (5) and 11 CFR 104.5(e).

Paper forms are available at the FEC’s web site and from FEC Faxline, the agency’s automated fax system (202/501-3413). The 2008 Reporting Schedule is also available on the FEC’s web site, and from Faxline. For more information on reporting, call the FEC at 800/424-9530 or 202/694-1100.

Filing frequency for party committees

National committees of political parties must file on a monthly schedule in all years. 11 CFR 104.5(c)(4).

State, district and local party committees that engage in reportable federal election activity must automatically switch to a monthly filing schedule. Once a committee triggers the monthly filing requirement, a committee must file the next regularly scheduled monthly report and must continue to file monthly for the remainder of the calendar year.

Political Action Committees

PACs (separate segregated funds and nonconnected committees) may file on either a quarterly or monthly basis in election years. A committee may change its filing frequency only once a year. After giving notice of change in filing frequency to the Commission and receiving the Commission’s approval, all future reports must follow the new filing frequency. 11 CFR 104.5(c).

Additional Information

For more information on 2008 reporting dates:

  • See the reporting tables in the January 2008 Record;
  • Call and request the reporting tables from the FEC at 800/424-9530 or 202/694-1100;
  • Fax the reporting tables to yourself using the FEC’s Faxline (202/501-3413, document 586); or
  • Visit the FEC’s web page to view the reporting tables online.

¹ The regulation covers individuals and organizations required to file reports of contributions and/or expenditures with the Commission, including any person making an independent expenditure. Disbursements for “electioneering communications” do not count toward the $50,000 threshold for mandatory electronic filing. 11 CFR 104.18(a).

² “Overnight mail” includes Priority or 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 on-line tracking system.

  • Author 
    • Elizabeth Kurland