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  • FEC Record: Reporting

Reports due in 2006

January 2, 2006

This article on filing requirements for 2006 is supplemented by the reporting tables on the following pages.

General information

It is the responsibility of the committee treasurer to file required reports on time. To assist treasurers, the Commission sends committees notices of upcoming reporting deadlines. Please note that filing deadlines are not extended in cases where the filing date falls on a weekend or federal holiday. In such cases, reports filed by first-class mail or courier must be received by the Commission on the business day preceding the filing date. Reports filed electronically must be received by the Commission and pass the validation test by 11:59 Eastern time on the filing date.

Under the Commission’s mandatory electronic filing regulations, individuals and organizations¹ that receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $50,000 in a calendar year—or expect to do so—must file all reports and statements with the FEC electronically. Electronic filers who instead file on paper or submit an electronic report that does not pass the validation test will be considered nonfilers and may be subject to enforcement actions (including administrative fines).

Committees that file with the Secretary of the Senate² are not subject to the mandatory electronic filing rules, but are encouraged to file an unofficial electronic copy of their reports with the FEC in order to speed disclosure. 11 CFR 104.18.

The Commission’s electronic filing software, FECFile 5, can be downloaded from the FEC’s website. 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. Most paper forms are available at the FEC’s website and from FEC Faxline, the agency’s automated fax system (202/501-3413). The 2006 Reporting Schedule is also available on the FEC’s website and from Faxline. For more information on reporting, call the FEC at 800/424-9530 or 202/694-1100.

Year-End reports covering 2005 activity

All committees must file a 2005 year-end report due January 31, 2006. The coverage and reporting dates are found on page 4.

Reports covering 2006 activity

To find out which reports your committee must file in 2006, check the Guide to 2006 Reporting above. Then check the tables on page 4 and 6-9 for reporting dates. Please note that committees active in special elections in 2006 may have to file additional special election reports, as explained on page 10.

Authorized committees of candidates

House and Senate candidates

All campaigns that raise or spend more than $5,000 (and thus trigger registration and reporting requirements) must file quarterly reports in 2006. The authorized committees of House and Senate candidates must also file pre-primary election and pre-general election reports before any election in which the candidate runs in 2006. These committees must also file a post-general election report if the candidate runs in the general election. 11 CFR 104.5(a)(2). Committees that wish to terminate must continue filing reports until notified in writing that their termination report has been accepted by the Commission.

Principal campaign committees of candidates running in 2006 should have filed FEC Form 3Z-1 as part of their July 2005 Quarterly report and must file another as part of their Year-End report, due January 31, 2006. 11 CFR 104.19.

The information provided on Form 3Z-1 allows opposing candidates to compute their “gross receipts advantage,” which is used to determine whether a candidate is entitled to increased contribution and coordinated party expenditure limits under the “Millionaires’ Amendment.” 2 U.S.C. §§441a(i) and 441a-1. Form 3Z-1 is included in the FEC Form 3 package. Principal campaign committees of candidates who ran in past elections or are running in future elections must also file quarterly reports in 2006. Committees that wish to terminate must continue fi ling quarterly reports until notified in writing that their termination report has been accepted by the Commission.

Presidential candidates.

All committees authorized by Presidential candidates must file on either a monthly or a quarterly schedule in 2006. A Presidential committee wishing to change its filing schedule should notify the Commission in writing. 11 CFR 104.5(b)(2).

PACs and party committees

State, district and local party committees

State, district and local party committees that engage in federal election activity (FEA) must file on a monthly schedule. 11 CFR 300.36(c)(1). Committees that do not engage in FEA may file on a quarterly basis in 2006. (See the April 2003 Record, page 5, for more information on monthly filing for state, district and local party committees.)

National party committees

National committees of political parties must file on a monthly schedule. 2 U.S.C. §434(a)(4)(B).

Political action committees

PACs (separate segregated funds and nonconnected committees) that filed on a semiannual basis during 2005 must file on a quarterly basis in 2006. 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 a year. 11 CFR 104.5(c).

Pre- and post-election reports

Please note that in 2006, party committees and PACs that file monthly reports file a pre-general election report and a post-general election report in lieu of the reports otherwise due in November and December. Party committees and PACs that file quarterly reports also file:

  • A pre-primary election report and a pre-general election report before any election in which the committee makes a contribution to or an expenditure on behalf of a candidate in that election; and
  • A post-general election report.

Where to file

Committee treasurers must file FEC reports with the appropriate federal office. State filing requirements also apply to reports filed by the principal campaign committees of candidates seeking office in Guam and Puerto Rico and to reports filed by PACs and party committees who support these candidates. 2 U.S.C. §439(a)(2)(B).

House candidate committees.

Principal campaign committees of House candidates file with the FEC. 11 CFR 105.1.

Senate candidate committees

Principal campaign committees of Senate candidates file with the Secretary of the Senate. 11 CFR 105.2.

Presidential committees

Principal campaign committees of Presidential candidates file with the FEC. 11 CFR 105.3.

Candidate committees with more than one authorized committee

If a campaign includes more than one authorized committee, the principal campaign committee files, with its own report, the reports prepared by the other authorized committees as well as a consolidated report (FEC Form 3Z). 11 CFR 104.3(f).

PACs and party committees

PACs and party committees file with the FEC. However, committees that support only Senate candidates file with the Secretary of the Senate, as do the national Democratic and Republican Senatorial committees. 11 CFR 105.2 and 11 CFR 105.4.

Waiver of state filing

All 50 states are now qualified under the Commission’s State Filing Waiver program and are relieved of the requirement to make paper copies of FEC reports available to the public. As a result, political committees no longer have to file copies of their federal reports at the state level.³ Committees in territories not certified for the waiver must continue to file copies of their reports with the appropriate state election office. The addresses for the federal offices (FEC and Secretary of the Senate) appear in the instructions for the Summary Page of FEC Forms 3 and 3X. A list of state filing offices is available from the Commission.

Late filing

The Federal Election Campaign Act does not permit the Commission to grant extensions of filing deadlines under any circumstances. Filing late reports can result in enforcement action by the Commission. The agency pursues compliance actions against late-filers and nonfilers under the Administrative Fine program and on a case-by-case basis. For more information on the Administrative Fine program, visit the FEC website.

Independent expenditures

Political committees and other persons who make independent expenditures at any time during the calendar year—up to and including the 20th day before an election—must disclose this activity within 48 hours each time that the expenditures aggregate $10,000 or more. This reporting requirement is in addition to the requirement to file 24-hour notices of independent expenditures each time that disbursements for independent expenditures aggregate at or above $1,000 during the last 20 days—up to 24 hours—before an election. 2 U.S.C. §§434(b),(d) and (g). Political committees must report all independent expenditures, whether they trigger the 48- or 24-hour reporting thresholds or not, on their regularly scheduled disclosure reports. Other persons report these expenditures once they exceed $250. 11 CFR 104.4(b)(1) and 109.10(b).

All individuals, persons and committees, including Senate committees, must file their 24- and 48-hour notices of independent expenditures with the Commission. 11 CFR 104.4, 109.10, 105.1 and 105.2.

Committees active in special elections

Committees authorized by candidates running in any 2006 special election must file pre- and post-election reports in addition to regularly scheduled reports. 11 CFR 104.5(h). They are also required to comply with the 48-hour notice requirement for contributions of $1,000 or more (including loans) received shortly before an election. See 11 CFR 104.5(f).

PACs and party committees supporting candidates running in special elections may also have to file preand post-election reports—unless they file on a monthly basis. 11 CFR 104.5(c)(3) and 104.5(h). All PACs are subject to 24-hour and 48-hour reporting of independent expenditures made before an election. See 11 CFR 104.4(b) and (c) and 104.5(g).

Electioneering communications

Additionally, individuals and other persons who make electioneering communications (EC)⁴ that aggregate in excess of $10,000 must file disclosure statements with the Commission within 24 hours of distribution to the public. Charts detailing the EC periods for Congressional primary and runoff elections are available on the FEC website.

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 (EC) do not count toward the $50,000 threshold for mandatory electronic filing. 11 CFR 104.18(a).

² See “Where to File” on page 10

³ The Commission has certified that the 50 states, American Samoa and Virgin Islands qualify for filing waivers. Committees that file their reports at the FEC need not file copies in these states. Guam and Puerto Rico are not currently in the State Filing Waiver Program.

⁴ On December 15, 2005, the Commission approved revised regulations governing electioneering communications. The changes came in response to court decisions in Shays v. FEC. A summary of the revised regulations will appear in the February Record. In the meantime, please visit the Rulemakings section of our web site for further information.

2006 Reports

Pre-Election Reporting Dates

Pre-Election Reporting Dates

Pre-Election Reporting Dates

Pre-Election Reporting Dates

  • Author 
    • Carlin Bunch