This article on filing requirements for 2007 is supplemented by the reporting tables on the following pages.
Notification of filing deadlines
In addition to publishing this article and its accompanying charts, the Commission notifies committees of filing deadlines on its web site, via its automated Faxline and through mailed reporting reminders called prior notices. Beginning on January 1, 2007, prior notices will be sent exclusively by electronic mail and will no longer be sent to committees using 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.
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 date 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.
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. 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. Reports filed electronically must be received and validated by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the applicable filing deadline.
Senate committees and other committees that file with the Secretary of the Senate² are not subject to the mandatory electronic filing rules.
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.
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 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. A committee sending its reports by registered mail should keep its proof of mailing. Please note that a Certificate of Mailing from the USPS is not sufficient to prove that a report is timely filed using Registered, Certified, or Overnight Mail.
Reports filed via overnight mail³ 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 (or the Secretary of the Senate for Senate committees and political committees supporting only Senate candidates) before the Commission’s (or the Secretary of the Senate’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 website and from FEC Faxline, the agency’s automated fax system (202/501-3413). The 2007 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 2006 activity
All committees must file a 2006 year-end report due January 31, 2007. The coverage and reporting dates are found below.
Reports covering 2007 activity
To find out which reports your committee must file in 2007, check the Guide to 2007 Reporting on this page. Then check the tables for reporting dates. Please note that committees active in special elections in 2007 may have to file additional special election reports, as explained below.
Authorized committees of candidates
House and Senate candidates
All campaigns that have a reporting obligation must file quarterly reports in 2007. 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. See also 11 CFR 100.3(a)(2) and (3).
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 2008 must file FEC Form 3Z-1 as part of their 2007 July Quarterly and Year-End reports. 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 441a1. Form 3Z-1 is included in the FEC Form 3 package, and need only be filed with the July 15 quarterly report and year-end report for the year preceding the general election for the office the candidate seeks.
All committees authorized by Presidential candidates must file on either a monthly or a quarterly schedule in 2007. A Presidential committee wishing to change its filing schedule should notify the Commission in writing. 11 CFR 104.5(b)(2). Electronic filers must file this request electronically. After filing a notice of change in filing frequency with the Commission all future reports must follow the new filing schedule.
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. 11 CFR 300.36(c)(1). Committees that do not engage in reportable “federal election activity” may file on a semiannual basis in 2007. A committee that filed monthly in 2006 due to its federal election activity must notify the Commission in writing if it wishes to file semiannually in 2007. 11 CFR 104.5(b)(2). Electronic filers must file this request electronically. After filing a notice of change in filing frequency with the Commission all future reports must follow the new filing schedule.
National party committees
National committees of political parties must file on a monthly schedule in all years and may no longer choose to change their filing schedule in non-election years. 2 U.S.C. §434(a)(4)(B).
Political action committees
PACs (separate segregated funds and nonconnected committees) that filed on a quarterly basis during 2006 will file on a semiannual basis in 2007. 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 and after giving notice of change in filing frequency to the Commission, all future reports must follow the new filing frequency. 11 CFR 104.5(c).
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.
Principal campaign committees of Presidential candidates file with the FEC. 11 CFR 105.3.
Candidate campaigns 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
Generally, PACs and party committees file with the FEC. 11 CFR 105.4. However, committees supporting only Senate candidates, and the national senatorial campaign committees, file with the Secretary of the Senate. 11 CFR 105.2.
Waiver of State filing
Under the Commission’s State Filing Waiver program, qualified states 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 or territory level except in Guam and Puerto Rico. Committees in Guam and Puerto Rico must continue to file copies of their reports with the appropriate election office in the territory. A list of state and territory filing offices is available from the Commission.
The Federal Election Campaign Act does not permit the Commission to grant extensions of filing deadlines under any circumstances. Filing late reports may result in enforcement action by the Commission. The Commission 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.
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—are required to 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 reports of independent expenditures each time disbursements for independent expenditures aggregate or exceed $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 independent expenditures that do not trigger the 48- or 24-hour reporting thresholds on their regularly-scheduled disclosure reports. Other persons report these expenditures once the expenditures exceed $250 in connection with an election. 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 reports 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 2007 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 pre- and 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 48- and 24-hour reporting of independent expenditures made before an election. See 11 CFR 104.4(b) and (c) and 104.5(g).
Additionally, individuals and other persons who make “electioneering communications” that aggregate in excess of $10,000 must file disclosure statements with the Commission within 24 hours of distribution of the communications to the public. See 11 CFR 100.29. When timing permits, the Record will alert committees to special election reporting dates.
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 See “Where to File".
³ “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.