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HOME / HELP WITH REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE / RESOURCES FOR COMMITTEE TREASURERS / TIMELY TIPS ARCHIVE 2014

Timely Tips Archive 2014

This page provides a comprehensive list of helpful tips that were posted on our Resources for Committee Treasurers page during 2014. These tips are intended to help treasurers meet their obligations under the federal campaign finance law. To suggest a tip, please email us at info@fec.gov.

December 23, 2014 Time to Take Stock and Prepare for 2015. Happy holidays! As you prepare for the new year, it's a good time to make sure that you have updated your Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1 (Instructions)) to reflect any changes (e.g., staffing, mailing address, email address). Also, review your FECMail subscriptions to ensure that you're getting the latest information as soon as it's posted. There will be no tip for treasurers next week, but the regular weekly tip will return in January, along with updated reporting schedules, updated contribution limits, announcements of outreach opportunities and postings of other important information for committee treasurers.
December 16, 2014 Paying for Transition Costs. Campaigns of retiring officeholders should review Advisory Opinion 2010-26, in which the Commission ruled that a retiring Congressman may use campaign funds to pay temporary storage costs associated with the move back to his home because those costs are an ordinary and necessary expense incurred in connection with his duties as a holder of Federal office and not an illegal "personal use" of campaign funds. The costs are reportable as "other disbursements" on Line 21 of FEC Form 3, with the specific payee(s) and purpose noted. Likewise, in Advisory Opinion 1980-138, the Commission concluded that a Senator-elect could use campaign funds to pay the expense of moving himself and his family to Washington, D.C. for similar reasons, and with the costs similarly reported.
December 9, 2014 Updated Limits for 2015-16 Coming Soon! Some of the contribution limits set forth in the federal campaign finance laws are adjusted every election cycle to account for changes in the consumer price index (CPI). In odd-numbered years, the FEC publishes the adjusted limits immediately after it receives the CPI figures from the Department of Labor (typically in late January or early February). Until then, the Commission encourages donors not to exceed the limits for the previous election cycle.
December 1, 2014 FEC Post-General Report Due December 4. All PACs, party committees and 2014 general election candidates must file a Post-General Report (30G) by Thursday, December 4. This report covers activity from the close of books for your last report through November 24. House and Senate campaigns must use the Post-Election Detailed Summary Page [House/Senate Version/Instructions] to segregate pre-election activity from post-election activity. Staff in the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday to help filers with any last-minute questions. (Note: If your committee has made contributions or expenditures in connection with the 2014 Louisiana general election runoff, your filing schedule may be altered. Please consult the Louisiana runoff reporting notice and your campaign finance analyst in the Reports Analysis Division for more information.)
November 24, 2014 'Tis the Season for Holiday Greetings. The same disclaimer rules that apply to campaign-related mailings apply to holiday greeting cards as well, even though they usually do not solicit funds or contain express advocacy. If a campaign sends out more than 500 holiday greetings, (i.e., a mass mailing) it must include a box on the card to inform recipients that it was paid for by the campaign committee. A PAC or party committee that sends a holiday mass mailing must include a box on the card that lets recipients know the committee paid for it, identifies the committee's full name and street address, phone number or web address, and states that the communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. For details and examples, see the Commission's brochure, Special Notices on Political Ads and Solicitations.
November 17, 2014 Contributions to Retire Debts. Campaigns with net debts outstanding (basically, more debt than cash on hand) after an election is over may accept contributions to retire the debt. Such contributions must be properly designated (e.g., "2014 general debt") and may not exceed the contributor's limit for the designated election. Undesignated contributions received by a campaign count towards the limit for the candidate's next election (e.g., the 2016 primary). While those funds could be used to retire debt, a campaign with net debts outstanding may choose to ask the contributor to redesignate the contribution for 2014 general debt retirement, provided that redesignation does not cause the donor to exceed his/her limit for that election. Consult the Campaign Guide and the Reports Analysis Division FAQ for your type of committee for examples of how to report redesignations for debt retirement.
November 7, 2014 20-Day Loan Repayment Clock is Ticking. Candidates who personally loaned their campaign more than $250,000 and would like to be repaid in full have until November 24 to obtain that repayment; and the campaign may only use contributions made on/before Election Day to repay amounts over $250,000. After November 24, the campaign can only repay up to $250,000 of any candidate loans and the remaining balance becomes a contribution. For more information, see 11 CFR 116.11 and Chapter 4, Section 13 of the Congressional Campaign Guide.
October 31, 2014 Handy Election Day Links. Tuesday, November 4, is Election Day! While the FEC's mission relates solely to the financing of federal elections, this time of year we often get questions about other election-related topics, such as:
-Where do I vote?
-How late are the polls open?
-How do I report voter fraud and intimidation?
As a public service, the FEC's Information Division has developed and posted a handy list of non-FEC-related questions it typically receives on Election Day with links to the federal and state agencies that can answer those questions. Visit http://www.fec.gov/info/election_day_links.shtml to access the Election Day Links page.
October 27, 2014 Last-Minute Filing Frenzy! For some committees, the pre-general report will be the final FEC filing required before Election Day. Many filers, however, may be required to submit additional notices to disclose last-minute activity. Campaign committees must disclose within 48 hours any contribution of $1,000 or more received between October 16 and November 1. (File FEC Form 6 [Instructions] or our online webform.) Individuals, corporations, labor organizations and unregistered groups making electioneering communications that aggregate $10,000 or more must also file 24-Hour Reports to disclose the funds they raised and spent. (Use FEC Form 9 [Instructions] [Online Webform].) PACs, party committees and others making independent expenditures that aggregate $1,000 or more between October 16 and November 2 must file 24-Hour Reports to disclose their expenditures. PACs (including Super PACs) and party committees report such expenditures using Schedule E [PDF] [Instructions] [Online Webform]. Individuals, corporations, labor organizations and unregistered groups use FEC Form 5 [PDF] [Instructions] [Online Webform].
October 21, 2014 Be Sure to Use Proper Disclaimers on Ads. As Election Day draws near, many political committees will run last-minute radio and television ads to reach potential voters. Remember, those ads must include proper disclaimers that — among other things — identify who paid for the message and indicate whether the ad was authorized by a candidate. Check out this Record article for answers to common questions about the proper wording and display for disclaimers on radio and television ads.
October 20, 2014 Do I Have to File a Pre-General Report? If you are a monthly filer or an authorized committee of a candidate in the 2014 general election, the answer is automatically YES. If you are a quarterly filing PAC or party committee, you must file a pre-general report only if your committee made contributions or expenditures in connection with the general election between October 1 and October 15, 2014. The report is due Thursday, October 23. (Please note that monthly filing PACs/party committees also must file their regular monthly report covering September on Monday, October 20.) Additional reporting information, including a complete list of filing dates, is available on our Reporting Dates web page. For help with your reports, please consult the sources listed in last week’s tip.
October 14, 2014 FEC Quarterly Reports Due October 15. Reminder: Quarterly reports are due Wednesday, October 15. Quarterly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than October 15, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on October 15. Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, October 15, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.
October 6, 2014 Some Exempt Party Activities are Considered Federal Election Activity. Party committees conducting exempt activities during the next few weeks should be aware that -- while these activities are not subject to the limits on contributions or coordinated party expenditures -- they may qualify as "federal election activity" (FEA). FEA that refers to a clearly identified federal candidate must be financed entirely with federal funds, and reportable FEA triggers a monthly filing requirement for the party committee. For more information, see this Record news article on FEA, the FEC's brochure on local party activity and Chapters 7 and 8 of the Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees.
September 29, 2014

Some Independent Expenditures Trigger Double Reporting. Filers must disclose ALL independent expenditures on their regular FEC reports — even those they already disclosed on special 48-hour and 24-hour reports.

  • PACs (including Super PACs and Hybrid PACs) and party committees: Report independent expenditures made on Line 24 of FEC Form 3X as part of your committee's regular FEC monthly, quarterly, pre- or post-election report, as appropriate. Itemize independent expenditures on Schedule E when they aggregate more than $200 in a calendar year. See your Campaign Guide for more information and examples.
  • Any individual, group, corporation, labor organization or other entity that is not a registered political committee: File FEC Form 5 at the end of the first quarterly reporting period in which independent expenditures made aggregate more than $250 in a calendar year. File additional reports in any succeeding quarterly period during the same year in which additional independent expenditures of any amount are made. See this FAQ from the Reports Analysis Division for more information on when to file Form 5.
September 24, 2014 Contributions in the Name of Another are Strictly Prohibited. Reimbursing someone for a contribution or otherwise contributing in the name of another person can result in substantial civil penalties and jail time. 52 U.S.C. §§ 30122 and 30109 (formerly 2 U.S.C. §§ 441f and 437g). The FEC and the Department of Justice have prosecuted several such cases over the last few years. These violations sometimes occur when an individual who has already contributed up to the limit to a campaign gives money to another person to make a contribution to the same candidate. 11 CFR 110.4(b). In other cases, corporations have reimbursed employees for their personal contributions or have provided bonuses to employees with instructions to use the extra income to make contributions to a candidate, PAC or party committee. 11 CFR 114.5(b)(1). Organizations and individuals who engage in these types of reimbursement and employee bonus schemes can be penalized for making contributions in the name of another. Regardless of the circumstances, if your committee discovers that contributions that appeared to be legal when received were actually made illegally in the name of another, it must refund the money to the original source of funds if the identity of that source is known. Alternatively, your committee may disgorge the funds to the US Treasury or certain other recipients. For more information and instructions on how to disgorge the funds, see pages 33-34 of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates.
September 15, 2014 September Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due Saturday, September 20, covering the month of August. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Monthly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than September 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, September 19). Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
September 10, 2014 Your Opportunity to Help Improve the FEC Website. The Commission invites FEC website users and the general public to an informal public forum on September 17 at FEC Headquarters. To participate in person, email websiteforum@fec.gov. The forum will focus solely on improving the Commission's website and accessibility of campaign finance data. The forum will consist of two parts: (1) an open discussion with Commissioners and senior staff; and (2) working group breakout sessions with Commission and GSA 18F staff to discuss some of the technology already under development. For more information, see this Record article.
September 8, 2014 Electioneering Communications General Election Filing Period Began on September 5. The electioneering communications period for the general election began on Friday, September 5 and runs through November 4. Any person who makes electioneering communications that aggregate more than $10,000 during this time period must file disclosure statements with the Commission within 24 hours of the date the electioneering communication is publicly distributed. For more information, visit http://www.fec.gov/info/charts_ec_dates_2014.shtml.
August 29, 2014 FECA Moves from Title 2 to Title 52 of the US Code. As of September 1, 2014, federal campaign finance laws (currently found in 2 U.S.C. §431 et seq) will be consolidated with other laws governing voting and elections in the new title 52 of the United States Code. The FEC will compile and distribute a new version of our "Orange Book" to reflect the changes and will announce its availability in the Record, through our Tips for Treasurers and on the Federal Campaign Finance Laws page of our website. In the meantime, see this Record article for more information and a link to the new title 52 paired with a conversion table.
August 25, 2014 Limit for Campaign-to-Campaign Contributions is Still $2,000 Per Election. A special limit of $2,000 per election applies to contributions made from the authorized committee of one candidate to another. Unlike some other contribution limits, this limit is not indexed for inflation. To properly disclose such contributions, the committee making the contribution must itemize it on Schedule B for Line 21 (Other Disbursements), regardless of amount. The recipient committee must itemize it on Schedule A for Line 11(c) (Contributions from Other Political Committees), regardless of amount.
August 20, 2014 August Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due today, August 20, covering the month of July. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
August 11, 2014 Sign Up Now for the Pre-Election Communications Roundtable Workshop! The Commission will offer a workshop on pre-election communications at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on Thursday, August 21. Topics will include electioneering communications, coordinated communications and independent expenditures. A webinar option is available for those who cannot attend in person. For more information, or to sign up, go to http://www.fec.gov/info/outreach.shtml#roundtables.
August 4, 2014 Employees of Federal Contractors. Federal contractors (including companies and individuals bidding on a federal contract as well as those who hold one) are prohibited by federal law from making contributions to federal candidates and committees. 11 CFR 115.2. Their employees, stockholders and members, however, may still make contributions from their personal assets. See 11 CFR 115.6.
July 28, 2014 FAQ on Debt Reporting. The FEC frequently receives questions about the proper reporting of debts. This recent Record article addresses common questions about how to report debts and provides some examples. Topics covered include estimated debts, unpayable debts, disputed debts, candidate loans and fundraising to retire debts.
July 21, 2014 RAD Customer Service Survey. On July 22, the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) will email a survey to filers that's designed to identify opportunities to improve RAD's customer service and outreach. We encourage all filers to take the survey, so we can better understand the needs of the filing community.
July 14, 2014 July Monthly Filing Reminder. Monthly filers have a report due on Sunday, July 20 (covering the month of June). Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Monthly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than July 20, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, July 18). Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. Quarterly filers - please refer to our July 3 tip for quarterly filing reminders.
July 3, 2014 July Quarterly Filing Reminder. Quarterly filers have a report due on Tuesday, July 15 (covering activity through June 30). Quarterly reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than July 15, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on July 15. Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time. (Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and the Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EDT) on Tuesday, July 15, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307.) Active in a primary election? See the Compliance Map and click on your state for specific filing information pertinent to that primary.
July 1, 2014 New Video Available for Local Party Organizations. State party committees may wish to share the FEC's latest e-learning video, Local Party 101, with their unregistered local party organizations in order to assist them with understanding federal campaign finance rules. The video explains the reporting thresholds and requirements to local party groups who wish to be active in federal elections. It also describes certain grassroots "exempt activities" that local party organizations may undertake without triggering contribution or expenditure limits.
June 23, 2014 Updated Candidate Guide Now Available. The 2014 Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees is now available on the Commission’s website. This edition of the Guide, available online only, includes quick links to chapters and reporting examples, as well as hyperlinks to FEC reference materials. For more information about the updated Guide, see this Record article.
June 16, 2014 June Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due Friday, June 20, covering the month of May. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
June 9, 2014 Where do Joint Fundraising Committees File Reports? House and Senate campaigns, nonconnected PACs and party committees can all participate in joint fundraising. So where should the Joint Fundraising Committee (JFC) file its reports? It depends who the participants are. If all of the JFC participants are Senate committees, the JFC files reports with the Secretary of the Senate. Otherwise, the JFC files with the FEC. For more information, see this Reports Analysis Division FAQ and our May 10 Tip for Treasurers.
June 2, 2014 FECFile Instructional Videos Available. The Commission has posted new online videos to help candidates, parties and PACs learn how to use the Commission's FECFile electronic filing software. The videos, which appear on the FEC's e-learning page and FECTube YouTube channel, provide an introduction to the software and review the basics for setting up a FECFile database. Future videos in the series will address reporting receipts and disbursements.
May 30, 2014 E-Filing Not Available this Saturday. The FEC is performing maintenance on various electronic filing and disclosure systems this weekend. As a result, e-filing and other FEC servers will be off-line between the hours of 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM EDT this Saturday, May 31. A scrolling message will appear on the FEC.gov home page for the duration of the outage. During that time, filers will be unable to submit reports or other documents electronically, or access rulemaking or advisory opinion searches, so please plan accordingly.
May 27, 2014 Your Committee Needs a Tax Identification Number. The IRS requires political committees to obtain a tax ID number, formally referred to as an employer identification number (EIN). Your committee will need this number to open a bank account. The preferred and quickest way to obtain your committee's EIN is via the IRS's website. Visit http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/How-to-Apply-for-an-EIN for more information. Please note: The FEC does not issue EINs, nor may FEC staff answer questions about the rules that pertain to them or other tax law requirements. Visit http://www.irs.gov/polorgs or call 1-877/829-5500 for information about IRS requirements for political organizations.
May 19, 2014 May Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due Tuesday, May 20, covering the month of April. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
May 12, 2014 Registering a Joint Fundraising Committee. A new political committee established for joint fundraising (a "joint fundraising representative" or "JFR") must register with the FEC using FEC Form 1 (Statement of Organization). That form must identify the committee as a JFR, list the names and addresses of all federal committees participating in the joint fundraiser, and list the depository institution (bank) the JFR will use. Any federal candidate or committee participating in the fundraiser must identify the JFR as such on Line 6 of its Statement of Organization. Candidates must also designate the JFR as an authorized committee on the Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2). For more information, see the Reports Analysis Division FAQ, our Record article on joint fundraising and the regulations at 11 CFR 102.17.
May 5, 2014 Get Prepared Now to E-File this Summer. If you want/have to file FEC reports electronically this year, now is the time to contact the FEC's e-filing office and get a password. With quarterly FEC reports due July 15, you will want to have your password in place and any software kinks worked out before the July filing rush. For those seeking training on filing FEC reports, register now for June webinars on Reporting and Using FECFile for campaigns, party committees and PACs.
April 29, 2014 Trade Association or Membership Organization? Sometimes membership organizations are not sure whether the more specific rules for trade associations apply to them. While all trade associations are membership organizations under FEC rules, not all membership organizations are trade associations. For example, chambers of commerce fit into the broader definition of membership organization, but do not fit into the definition of a trade association. An organization is a trade association under FEC regulations if all the members of the organization are in the same industry and if the organization promotes and tries to improve the business conditions of its membership. To learn more about the rules that apply to trade associations, membership organizations and labor organizations, register now while spots remain available for the FEC's webinar on May 21 (note: in-person seminar is sold out).
April 22, 2014 New FEC e-Learning Video for Treasurers. If you have agreed to serve as a treasurer for an FEC-registered campaign, PAC or party committee, you have important legal responsibilities. This short video provides an overview of the legal obligations and basic duties that an individual assumes when becoming a political committee's treasurer.
April 14, 2014 April Filing Reminder. Quarterly filers have a report due Tuesday, April 15, covering from the close of books of their last report through March 31. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm (EDT) on Tuesday, April 15, to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4 or call 202-694-1307. Also, monthly filers have a report due Saturday, April 20, covering the month of March. Please note that the FEC does not have authority to extend filing deadlines, even when they fall on weekends or holidays. Filers should plan accordingly. Under both filing schedules, reports sent by registered, certified or overnight mail must be postmarked no later than the due date of the report, and paper filings sent by other means must be received by close of business on the last business day before the deadline (i.e., Friday, April 18 for monthly filers). Electronic filers have until 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on the due date of the report to submit their reports on time.
April 8, 2014 McCutcheon Decision. On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. The plurality opinion concludes that the overall biennial contribution limits at 2 U.S.C. §441a(a)(3) are unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The Court's decision does not affect an individual's per-committee limits found at 2 U.S.C. §441a(a)(1).

April 1, 2014 Don't be an April Fool: File your reports on time! April is a busy reporting month as primary season heats up and quarterly filers submit their April 15 reports. Be sure to consult the FEC's online reporting pages, compliance map and Commission calendar to ensure that your committee meets all of its filing deadlines. Failure to do so could result in administrative fines. Electronic filers can get help using FECFile at tomorrow's webinars for candidate, parties and PACs, and you can always call our toll-free information line at 800-424-9530 for assistance.
March 24, 2014 Cactus League, Grapefruit League . . . Cherry Blossom League? The FEC will offer a doubleheader of spring training workshops in Washington, DC, next month. First up are FECFile webinars for all types of committees on April 2, followed by a day-long Seminar/Webinar for Corporations and their PACs on April 30. These workshops are bound to be a hit, so register today! To see our complete spring training line-up, visit our outreach page.
March 19, 2014 March Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due, Thursday, March 20, covering the month of February. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may also have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
March 10, 2014 It’s Primary Season, Even for Unopposed and Independent Candidates. Unopposed and independent candidates are still entitled to a separate contribution limit for the primary (or convention, if in a state that is holding one to nominate candidates for the general). Unopposed candidates must consider the date on which the election is held to be the date of the election for purposes of designating contributions to the primary. Independent or third party candidates may choose one of these dates to be their "primary” date: (1) The last day on which, under state law, a candidate may qualify for a position on the general election ballot; (2) The date of the last major party primary, caucus or convention in the state; or (3) For third party candidates, the date of the nomination by their party. See page 17 of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees for more information on how contribution limits work. In terms of reporting, both unopposed and independent/third party candidates must file the pre-election report applicable to their state, even if they are not actually participating in a primary election or nominating convention.
March 4, 2014 Contributions from Partnerships. A candidate’s authorized committee may not accept contributions from a partnership in excess of $2,600 per election. In addition, a partnership contribution counts proportionately against each participating partner’s own limit with respect to the candidate. Contributions made by individual partners from their own funds, rather than the partnership funds, do not count against the partnership’s limit. 11 CFR 110.1(b)(1) and (e). Contributions from professional corporations and from partnerships using the funds of corporate, foreign national, or federal contractor members are prohibited. 11 CFR 110.1(e), 110.20, 114.2 and 115.4. Click the links for information on reporting partnership contributions received by an authorized committee or by an unauthorized committee.
February 25, 2014 Register Now for FEC Candidate/Party Seminar. Spots remain available for the FEC's seminar/webinar on federal campaign finance law for House and Senate campaigns and political party committees, to be held on March 19 at the FEC headquarters in Washington, DC. For information and registration materials, visit http://www.fec.gov/info/conferences/2014/campaignpartyseminar.shtml.
February 18, 2014 February Reporting Reminder. Monthly filers are reminded they have a report due, Thursday, February 20, covering the month of January. Quarterly filers do not have a regularly scheduled report due this month, but if they have made contributions or expenditures in connection with ongoing special elections or regular primary elections, they may have to file additional reports. Quarterly filers should refer to the FEC's compliance map to determine if an additional report is required.
February 6, 2014 FEC Publishes Adjusted Limits and Thresholds. Today, the Commission published its Price Index Adjustments for Expenditure Limitations and Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure Threshold in the Federal Register.  This annual notice informs the public of any adjustments in expenditure limitations as well as the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold. For 2014, the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold has increased to $17,300. The coordinated party expenditure limit for the general election for House races will be $47,200 ($94,500 in those states with only one Congressional district). The coordinated party expenditure limits for the general election for Senate races vary by State; see the chart at http://www.fec.gov/info/charts_441ad_2014.shtml for a table of those limits.
February 3, 2014 FEC Training Next Week in the Sunshine State. Had enough of winter weather? Spots remain available for the FEC's conference on federal campaign finance law in Tampa, Florida, February 11-12, where the weather is currently forecast to be sunny and in the 70s. This will be the last full two-day training session we offer before the 2014 elections. We hope you can join us, but if you can't, be sure to sign up for our email list so that you can receive advance notification when registration opens for various one-day training sessions to be held in Washington DC this spring.
January 27, 2014 Year-End Reporting Reminder. Year-End reports covering activity through December 31 are due Friday, January 31. Staff in the Reports Analysis Division and Electronic Filing Office will be available until 8:00 pm EST on January 31 to answer questions regarding the content and filing of reports. To reach RAD, call 1-800-424-9530 (press 5) or 202-694-1130. For help with technical issues relating to electronic filing, dial the same toll-free number and press 4. The E-Filing Office can also be reached locally at 202-694-1307. Answers to common questions regarding the Year-End report may be found in this article.
January 22, 2014 Electronic Filing Update. Revised electronic filing specifications (v.8.1) have been released. As of January 14, only filings formatted in Version 8.1 will be accepted. Current FECFile users need only open their software (after 1/14) and accept the automatic update. Committees using commercial filing software should contact their vendors for more information about the latest release. If you have any questions, please call the Electronic Filing Office at: (202) 694-1307 or (800) 424-9530 ext. 1307.
January 13, 2014

Date Made / Date Received. Under FEC rules, the date a donor makes a contribution to a candidate and the date the campaign receives it are both important, but for different reasons.

The date a contribution is made determines which per-election limit the contribution counts against. For example, an undesignated contribution made (i.e., postmarked or hand-delivered) on or before the date of the primary election counts against the donor’s limit for that election. Undesignated contributions made after that date count toward the limit for the candidate’s next election (e.g., the general election).

The date a campaign receives a contribution is the date it lists on its FEC reports. For example, campaigns will include on their upcoming Year-End reports (due January 31) only those contributions received by December 31 (the close of books for that report). A contribution received on January 1 will be reported on the committee's first report covering 2014 activity, even if the contribution was made in 2013.

More information on "Date Made" and "Date Received" may be found on page 23 of the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates.

January 6, 2014 Mark Those 2014 Calendars! With the election year upon us, it's time to fill your 2014 calendar with FEC reporting deadlines and dates for educational outreach programs. The Commission's last regional conference of the 2014 election cycle will be held in Tampa on February 11-12, and reporting and FECFile workshops are set for the 15th and 22nd of this month to help you prepare your Year-End Report. Additionally, all of the latest 2014 reporting dates are available at http://www.fec.gov/info/report_dates_2014.shtml. As always, the Commission will email courtesy reminders to committees shortly before reports are due.

 

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