FAQs

Contents
527 political organizations
Candidates
Candidate committees
Caucuses
Complaints
Contributions
Definitions
Disclosure
Electioneering
Expenditures
Federal Political Action Committees (PACs)
Filing
Fundraising
Independent expenditures
Issue committees
Limited liability companies (LLCs)
Lobbyists
Major contributors
Political committees
Political parties
Recall committees
Registered agents
School district candidates
Special district candidates
Searching
Small donor committees
Voluntary spending limits



Expenditures

Q1. How do I report expenditures?

A1.  To report expenditures:

  1. Log in to your TRACER account.
  2. Click on the "Expenditure" tab at the top of the page.
  3. Click on "Add".
  4. Enter your information into the form.

 

Q2. How do I associate a payee to an expenditure?

A2.  You can associate a payee to an expenditure one of two ways:

  1. Enter information into the fields manually, or
  2. If the payee has been entered into the system before, click on "Search".  You can search for the payee and have their information automatically applied to the current expenditure.

 

Q3. Can I enter expenditures into the system at any time?

A3.  Yes, you can enter expenditures throughout the reporting period.  This information will be stored in the system, but it will not be viewable by the public until you file a report.

 

Q4. How do I modify an expenditure that has already been entered?

A4.  If you need to modify a previously entered (but not yet reported) expenditure, go to your Expenditure Administration page.

If the expenditure was entered recently, click on "Update".

If the expenditure can't be found through the "Update" link, click on "Find" to locate it.

 

Q5. How do I file a report?

A5.  To file a report:

  1. Log in to your TRACER account.
  2. On the Candidate/Committee Overview page, there is a section called "Reports Due". This section lists required reports, their due dates, and the status of each report.
  3. Next to the report that you want to file, click on "View/File".
  4. Follow the instructions on the page.
  5. When you are finished, click on "File".
  6. You will be asked to confirm that you want to file the report.  Click on "Ok" to file the report.
  7. Click on "Finished".

Your report is filed once you have clicked on "Finished"; note that if you leave this page before clicking on "Finished", the report will be saved, but not filed.

See the filing FAQs for more information about the filing system.

 

Q6. How do I file a 48 hour notice of independent expenditure?

A6.  When an expenditure is entered into TRACER that requires a 48 hour notice, the system will automatically generate a report that is due within 48 hours.  You can find this report in the "Reports Due" section of your overview page.  Click on "View/File" to file the report.

Be sure to enter expenditures in a timely fashion; delinquent entries can result in late penalties of $50 per day.

Top

Q7. Do expenditures have to be itemized?

A7.  All expenditures of $20 or more must be itemized.  You must list the name and address of the payee and the purpose of the expense.

 

Q8. Is there a limit to expenditures made with cash?

A8.  Yes.  No committee or candidate may spend more than $100 in cash or coin on any single expenditure.

 

Q9. Is mileage reported as an expenditure?

A9.  Yes.  Mileage is reported as an expenditure at the IRS rate.

 

Q10. Are reimbursements reported as expenditures?

A10.  Yes.  Reimbursements to candidates, staff, and volunteers are reported as expenditures.

The disclosure report should list this as a reimbursement, and should detail what the original expenditure was for.

Include the following information:

  • The name of the payee. This could be the name of a person, or of a bank if the original purpose was made via credit card.
  • What was originally purchased (the expense that led to the reimbursement).
  • Where or from whom the original purchase was made.
  • How the original purchase was made (credit card, cash, etc.)

Simply stating that the purpose is a "credit card payment" or a "reimbursement" is insufficient.

 

Q11. How do we report an expenditure made by a third party that isn't reimbursed?

A11.  Third-party expenditures (expenditures made on behalf of the committee by someone other than the candidate, agent, or other person affiliated with the committee) that are not reimbursed are reported as nonmonetary (in-kind) contributions.

 

Q12. What statutes or rules apply to expenditures?

A12.  The following provisions apply to expenditures:

Top