What is an Independent Spending Report

The campaign finance law requires individuals, entities and businesses to file independent spending reports for certain expenditures. There are four types of independent spending reports:

  • Independent Expenditures: This report is e-filed when an individual, entity, business or political committee (other than an IEPAC) makes an expenditure to support or oppose a candidate, but without coordinating or consulting with the candidate or the candidate’s committee.
  • Electioneering Communications(EC): This report is e-filed when an individual, entity or business makes an expenditure for a communication that identifies a candidate, but does not expressly advocate for or against a candidate. ECs are only in effect within 90 days of a general election.
  • Ballot Question Spending: This report is e-filed when an individual, entity or business makes an expenditure to support or oppose a state or district ballot question, and the expenditure is not an in-kind contribution to a ballot question committee.
  • Political Spending Reports by Other Groups and Associations: The report is e-filed once an organization has made political contributions or expenditures to support or oppose candidates in excess of the “incidental threshold” (i.e., $15,000 or 10 percent of such organization’s gross revenues for the previous year, whichever is less).

The report descriptions above do not include all the thresholds and statutory requirements for filing such reports. The descriptions are meant to provide a basic summary of the requirements.

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