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RAD Processes

This page provides answers to frequently asked Reports Analysis Division processes questions.  If you don't find an answer to your question here, please contact the Reports Analysis Division, toll free at 800-424-9530 (press 5), to speak with a Campaign Finance Analyst. You may also speak with FEC's Information Division, toll free at 800-424-9530 or by e-mail at info@fec.gov. Additionally, electronic filers may contact the Commission's Electronic Filing Office for technical assistance, toll free at 800-424-9530 (press 4).

Late Filing and Administrative Fines

Filing Reports

Accessing Reports and RFAIs

Terminating Committees

 

Late Filing and Administrative Fines


I received a Non-Filer Notice.  What should I do?

You received the Non-Filer Notice because your committee may have failed to file a required report(s) by the designated deadline. You should file the missing report(s) as soon as possible. If you think you received the notice in error or need assistance filing the report, call the analyst whose name and telephone number appear in the last paragraph of the letter.

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I received a Non-Filer Notice but I know I filed the report.   What should I do?

It is possible the Non-Filer Notice was mailed before the report completed processing at the Federal Election Commission.  Verify the receipt and processing of your report(s) by searching the Candidate and Committee Viewer. Enter your committee ID number and you will be able to find any submitted reports under the "Filings" tab.

If the report included incomplete or incorrect coverage dates you may receive a Non-Filer Notice.  Please verify the coverage dates on the report filed by your committee and pay special attention to the report dates referenced in the Non-Filer Notice.  You should file a report with the correct coverage dates as soon as possible.

If you believe that you have timely filed the report and have tracking information to prove that the report(s) was delivered, or if you believe the Non-Filer Notice was sent in error, please contact the analyst whose name and telephone number appear in the last paragraph of the letter.

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I forgot to file a report or filed the report late, can you tell me what the fine will be?  What will happen next?

Under the FEC's Administrative Fine Program, failure to file reports or file reports on time could result in civil money penalties (or fines).  Information on the Administrative Fine Program, including an Administrative Fine Calculator and explanation of how fines are calculated, can be found on the Administrative Fines Program page. 

If the Commission finds “reason to believe” (RTB) that a committee failed to file or timely file a required report, it will send a letter to the committee containing the basis for its finding and the amount of the proposed fine. The committee will have 40 days from the date of the RTB finding to either pay the fine or submit to the Commission a written challenge explaining the reasons why it believes the Commission’s finding and/or fine is wrong.

If the report had not been filed at the time of RTB, it should be filed as soon as possible.  Fines will be recalculated based on the actual level of activity prior to the final determination stage.

If the committee does not submit a challenge within 40 days, the Commission will issue a final determination including the appropriate fine.  The committee will then have an additional 30 days to either pay the fine or seek judicial review of the Commission’s final determination in a U.S. district court. If the committee does not pay its fine or seek judicial review after 30 days, the FEC will transfer the debt to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for collection.

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Can I fax the report if my report is already late so it can be filed more quickly? 

No, faxing is not an acceptable method for filing reports.  To be considered filed, electronic filers must file their report electronically and paper filers must mail or hand deliver their reports.

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Can I get a filing extension?

No. The Commission does not have statutory authority to extend any filing deadlines. All reports and other filings are due on or before the established filing deadlines.

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I paid an administrative fine and received a letter stating that the matter will now be public. What does this mean?

As part of the Freedom of Information Act, information pertaining to administrative fines is available to the public through the FEC Enforcement Query System page on the FEC website.

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Filing Reports

When do I need to file? When are my reports due?

Your reporting schedule depends on the type of committee. Please consult the Filing Frequency by Type of Filer section of the website for more information.

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If I filed a report with incorrect/partial coverage dates, should I file a new report to just cover those days I missed or should I amend the original filling to correct the dates?

Please file an amended report that fully covers the correct dates of the reporting period. This will allow the Commission to ensure proper coding and public disclosure of your committee’s information.

If you file electronically and need assistance in uploading an amended report with new coverage dates please call the Reports Analysis Division at (800) 424-9530 (press 5 at the prompt).

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Where do I send my FEC reports?

All committees that file on paper, except those that support only Senate candidates, should send their reports to to the Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20463

Senate campaigns and other committees that support only Senate candidates must file reports on paper with the Secretary of the Senate, Office of Public Records, 232 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-7116.  Mail addressed to the Secretary of the Senate should be sent to: Senate Office of Public Records, P.O. Box 77578, Washington, DC 20013-7578.

Note: Committees required to file electronically must submit their reports, statements and notices electronically. For more information, consult the Electronic Filing section of the website.

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Why should I send filings via certified/registered/priority/express/overnight mail?

If a report is sent by registered or certified mail, by priority or express mail having a delivery confirmation, or by overnight delivery service with an online tracking system, it is considered filed on time if postmarked by the filing date. The committee should retain evidence that it delivered the report to the U.S. Postal Service or the overnight delivery service in the event of a delivery failure. (Exception: In the case of a pre-election report, the report must be postmarked at least 15 days before the date of the election.)

Alternatively, reports filed by first class mail or by hand delivery must be received at the FEC by the filing date in order to be considered timely filed.

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Do I have to file a report even if my committee had no activity? 

Yes. Until your committee files a termination report and receives notice from the FEC that the termination request has been accepted, you are required to continuing filing all reports, regardless of the amount of activity.

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How do I change my committee’s filing frequency?  Can I start following the new filing frequency schedule as soon as I submit the filing frequency request to the Commission?

Political committees may change their filing schedule from quarterly to monthly (or vice versa) once per calendar year*. The treasurer must notify the FEC in writing (and electronically if electronic filer) at the time it files a required report under its current filing schedule before filing reports under the new filing schedule (11 CFR §§104.5(b) and (c)). The Reports Analysis Division will send written confirmation to the committee of the filing frequency change, which will include the filing schedule for the calendar year.

Note that quarterly filers (other than authorized committees) are only required to file semi-annual reports in off-election years, thus quarterly-filers do not need to request a change to semi-annual filing (11 CFR §104.5(c)). In addition, pre-election reports may be required if your committee makes contributions or expenditures (including independent expenditures) in connection with an election if the activity occurred from the close of books of the last report filed through the 20th day before the election.

Tip: Quarterly filing committees that support candidates in many different states may find it advantageous to file monthly during the election year, since monthly filers need not file pre-primary reports.

*Exceptions:

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I received a letter stating I have to file electronically; what do I need to do?  I did not know I crossed the electronic filing threshold, what is it?   

Committees that receive contributions or make expenditures in excess of $50,000 in the current calendar year, or that have reason to expect to do so, must file their reports electronically. Once committees exceed the $50,000 yearly threshold, they have “reason to expect to exceed” the threshold in the following two calendar years. Once required to file electronically, all subsequent statements, designations, reports, and amendments must be filed electronically.

If you receive a notice stating your committee is required to file electronically, the report referenced in the letter should be filed electronically as soon as possible.  Paper filed reports do not satisfy the committee’s filing obligations, and failure to timely file reports may lead to enforcement action by the Commission.  If you have questions regarding your committee’s requirement to file electronically, please contact the analyst whose name and telephone number appear in the last paragraph of the letter.

(Note that the mandatory electronic filing provisions (11 CFR §104.18) apply to any political committee or other person required to file reports, statements and/or designations with the FEC but do not apply to Senate candidate committees (and other persons who support Senate candidates only), who file with the Secretary of the Senate.

Additional information about electronic filing, including instructions for obtaining a password, and the free FECFile software, is available on the Electronic Filing page.

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I am thinking about becoming a voluntary e-filer.  What are the benefits?  Are there any restrictions? 

Electronic filing is more efficient and cost effective than paper filing. Free filing software, FECFile, is available for download to any committee or filing entity. Once a Committee begins to voluntarily file its reports electronically, it must continue to file electronically for the remainder of the calendar year (11 CFR §104.18(b)).

Additional information about electronic filing, including the free FECFile software, is available on the Electronic Filing page.

Note: Senate candidate committees and other persons who support Senate candidates only, must currently file with the Secretary of the Senate on paper.

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How do I amend a report?

If you file your reports on paper, you should check the “amend” box on the first page of the report.  Form 3, 3X, or 3P amendments should include the Summary and Detailed Summary pages along with any schedules that have been changed.

If you file electronically and use FECFile, see the Help for Electronic Filers page for instructions.  Electronically filed amendments must be filed as a complete report, rather than just those portions that are being amended.

If you need additional assistance filing an amended report, call the Reports Analysis Division at (800) 424-9530 (press 5 at the prompt).

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My committee files electronically and needs to amend its Statement of Organization (Form 1). Since the original Form 1 was filed on paper, should the amendment also be filed on paper?

If a committee is an electronic filer, it is required to file all subsequent reports and documents electronically. This includes amendments to the Statement of Organization (Form 1). Note that some electronic filing software may show the first electronically filed Form 1 as "new" rather than "amended." However, if a Form 1 was previously filed, the Statement of Organization will be identified by the FEC as an amendment upon upload.


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I am a candidate who already filed a Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) for the next regularly scheduled election, but I am also participating in an off-election year Special Election.  What do I need to do?

Candidates running in off-election year special elections who have received contributions or made expenditures over $5,000 for the special election should file a Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) indicating the year of the special election and designating a principal campaign committee to raise and spend funds for the special election.

If the candidate is also running in regularly scheduled elections and has received contributions or made expenditures over $5,000 for those elections, an additional Statement of Candidacy (FEC Form 2) should be filed to indicate the year of the regularly scheduled election.  The candidate can designate the same principal campaign committee or designate a new committee to raise and spend funds for the regularly scheduled elections.

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I am a candidate who has already filed the Statement of Candidacy (Form 2) and my Principal Campaign Committee (PCC) has filed a Statement of Organization (Form 1). Due to redistricting, I will be running in a different district. What do I need to do?

Candidates and PCCs running in regularly scheduled elections in states that have gone through a redistricting process should submit an Amended Statement of Organization AND Statement of Candidacy (Forms 1 and 2) to reflect the new district.

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I received a letter stating I have not filed a report. I have not raised or spent $1,000 towards an election. What do I need to do?

A political committee is required to file a Statement of Organization (Form 1) and any subsequent reports disclosing its contributions or expenditures once it exceeds $1,000 in a calendar year. If a committee files a Form 1, regardless if it has raised or spent $1,000, it must begin filing all necessary monthly or quarterly reports.

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Accessing Reports and RFAIs

How can I confirm that my report was received by the FEC? 

Once a report has been received by the Commission, the document will be placed on the FEC's Candidate and Committee Viewer.  Upon searching for a committee, the user will be able to view reports filed by the committee and the date received by the Commission.

Reports filed electronically can also be viewed on the Electronic Filing Report Retrieval page.

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I received a letter from the Commission, but I lost it.  How can I get a copy?  

To access letters sent to a committee, please refer to the Candidate and Committee Viewer. Upon searching for a committee, the user will be able to see any Failure to File, Request for Additional Information (RFAI), or Termination Approval letters sent by the Commission.

Not all notices are put on the public record. If you have a question about a letter received that is not in the Commission image database, please call the Reports Analysis Division at (800) 424-9530 (press 5 at the prompt).

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Can you fax me a copy of my last filed report so that I can prepare my next one? 

Our process does not include providing copies of reports via fax; however reports can be printed from the FEC website.  All reports filed by a committee can be obtained from the Candidate and Committee Viewer.In addition, electronically filed reports can be accessed through the Electronic Filing Report Retrieval portal.

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Terminating Committees

I am filing a termination report.  Does this mean that I will not have to file any future reports? 

No. Once a termination report is filed, an analyst will review the committee’s information to determine whether it is eligible to terminate. If eligible, a notice approving the termination will be sent to the committee. If a committee is found ineligible to terminate, the Commission will send a notice identifying the reason(s) for ineligibility. Committees are required to continue filing until they have received notification of the FEC's approval to terminate.

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What does it mean if my committee gets a letter stating that it has been administratively terminated?  Will my committee ever have to file reports again?

Pursuant to 11 CFR §102.4, the Commission may administratively terminate inactive committees.  Administratively terminated committees are not obligated to file future reports unless they become active in Federal elections.  Any receipt or disbursement of funds for the purpose of influencing a Federal election or supporting a Federal candidate will void the administrative termination and the committee will be required to file reports again.

If you received an Administrative Termination notice and your committee intends to be active in Federal elections or you wish not to be administratively terminated, the treasurer has 30 days from the day of receipt of the notice to send a written objection to the Commission.  If no objection is received, the committee will be administratively terminated.

If you have questions regarding the administrative termination of your committee please contact the analyst whose name and telephone number appear in the last paragraph of the letter.

If your committee was administratively terminated and has since become active, requiring the filing reports again, please call the Reports Analysis Division at (800) 424-9530 (press 5 at the prompt) if assistance is needed in filing the required reports.

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What is a Debt Settlement Plan?  When can I file one, and how?

A committee that has outstanding debts but wants to terminate may settle its debts for less than the full amount owed to the creditors.  Only terminating committees are eligible to file Debt Settlement Plans (DSP). Every terminating committee that settles a debt for less than full value should file a DSP (FEC Form 8) for Commission approval. The plan should be filed after the creditors have agreed to the settlement and signed the DSP.  Final settlement payments to the creditors should not be made until completion of Commission review. Note that disputed debts are not subject to debt settlement (11 CFR §116.10).

To file a DSP, your committee must file a Form 8 with the Commission (instructions for filling out DSP). Once received, an analyst will review the DSP for compliance with DSP regulations (11 CFR §116.7).  Notice will be sent to the committee if the DSP is approved and the committee can then finalize payments to the creditors and file a termination report. Committees must continue to file reports and disclose debts undergoing settlement until they receive Commission approval of the DSP and confirmation of termination.

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