How Do I E-File with the FEC?

Applies To: Federal Election Commission
Filing compliance reports is an important part of any campaign. In ISP, you can both generate and e-file your report directly with the FEC.

Before you begin, it’s essential you already have your e-filing password on hand. This should have been provided to you by the FEC when you registered your campaign. If you do not have that, you can contact the FEC or request one online.

How do I generate my FEC report?

This is a general outline of steps and fields for generating your report. Please note that other FEC reports may have different fields and dropdown menus.

1. Navigate to Reports, then to Compliance.
2. If you have multiple Filers in your database, choose which Filer you are filing the report for. If you do not see this dropdown menu, that is because you only have one Filer and can move on to the next step. 
3. Select the Compliance Report you want to generate, as well as the Compliance Report Version, if applicable.
4. Fill out the remaining fields according to the report you are generating. All fields with an asterisk are required.

From Date

This is the start date of the reporting period.

To Date

This is the end of the reporting period.

Current Election

Select the current election you are in. If you are filling out this form as a PAC, you may be selecting Non-Election here.

Previous General Election Date

Enter the date of the last general election. If you have not had a prior general election, use the last known general election date.

Amended

Click this box if you are filing an amendment. There will be some additional information fields to fill out as well.

Original Report Number

This is the FEC report’s ID number on the report you are amending. It can be located on the FEC website or in the confirmation you received.

Number of Amendments

If this is your first amendment to the report you would enter 1 here. If you have had several amendments to the same report, you will want to make sure this number is higher than the last one.

Change of Address

Checking this will mark the Change of Address box on the FEC Form.

Report Period

Select the report name you are filing. (e.g. April Quarterly, Year End, etc.)

Previous Unitemized Individual Donations

You can find this number on Line 11aii, Column B of your previously filed FEC report. If you have not previously filed an FEC Form 3 or 3x, then you should put 0 here.

Sort Order

There are several options for sorting the data on the report. By date is most common.

Note

This is for any additional information or notes that you need to attach to your filing. This will create a new Notes page after the Summary pages.

Once you have all the fields entered that you need, click the Generate button at the bottom of the screen. The system will gather the required information and show you a list of errors and warnings, if any. Fatal errors may block you from filing, but most warnings will not. However, filing with missing information is usually not advised.

Each error and warning is a link which, when clicked, will open the record information on the right part of the screen for easy editing. Please note, however, that after you make your changes, you will need to regenerate the report in order for those changes to have an effect and remove the warning or error.

When the report generates, you’ll have download options at the bottom of the page. Click on Download button to get PDF or e-file versions of the report.

Once you are comfortable there are no problems with your report, click on E-File Report. The FEC also has a manual upload site. Should you need to, use this site to upload a .fec file from ISP instead of using the filing feature in ISP. Clicking the E-File option from the Download menu will provide the .fec file.

How do I e-file my report?

Once your report generates, you’ll see an E-File Report button at the bottom of the page. If your report has Fatal errors, you will not see this button until those errors are corrected. 

Clicking the E-file Report button shows a new E-File section with an E-Filing Password field. Enter your FEC filing password in the field. If you’d like to save the password to a Password Safe, check the box below the password field. By doing this, the password will be saved for future reports that need to be filed.

Once you have entered your FEC filing password in, click the Submit Report button to file your report with the FEC. 

After you receive confirmation from the FEC that the file was accepted, make sure to click the Mark as Filed button. This will lock the transactions involved with this report to help preserve data integrity.