How Does the FEC Report New Debts Under $500?

Applies To: Federal Election Commission – Political Action Committees (PACs), Party Committees

1. FEC report debt itemization rules:

  • Debt itemizes on Schedule D if outstanding for 60 days or
    more or if they have an original amount, beginning balance, or
    outstanding balance of $500.01 or more.
  • Debt should be reported as newly incurred debt when itemized, even if it originated in the prior reporting period.
These Accrued Expenses did not meet the itemization
requirement for the mid-year report, so they do not appear on that
report as itemized. They are included in the Line 10 Debts and
Obligations Owed total on the mid-year report.
2. When debt is paid off (by the committee, forgiven, or
third-party payment), it needs to itemize on Sch D, even if it usually
would not at that time.
The FEC wants Balance Reductions (forgiven debt or third-party
payments) to show as a negative in the Amount Incurred This Period
field, but this field also needs to show that the debt was incurred during this
period per the rules above.
We resolve this conflict on reports by reporting the debt as
incurred and automatically including text after Sch D explaining that it
was paid off via forgiven or third-party payment. The text that pulls
after Sch D says something like: “Outstanding Debt Amount of {Original
AE Amount} was reduced in the amount of {AE Balance Reduction Amount} by
forgiveness or third party repayment.”