Tips for Filing Campaign Finance Statements

Summer 2017

Did you know:

All campaign statements are due by 5:00 pm on the due date.  Prepare early and file early to help ensure a timely filing and reduce the risk of late filing fees.

 

  You must show the full name and address of each person who contributed to your committee and you must show the occupation, employer and business address of each individual who contributed more than $100.00.
Did you know that committee campaign finance records have to be kept for 5 years?  This would include records, bills, and receipts as required to substantiate the information contained in a campaign statement.  More information can be found here.  

State and Judicial Committees, did you know that it is now mandatory to file the Statement of Organization electronically?  Find out more here.

 

A committee should never have a negative ending balance on their campaign statement.  The committee should never be seen to be spending more money than what it receives.

 

 

 

A Committee must not accept an anonymous contribution.  A committee that receives an anonymous contribution must donate it to a tax exempt charitable organization.  A receipt is needed for the committee's records.  So never just pass the hat for contributions or set up a "tips jar" for contributions.

When saving and naming your MERTS file, only use numeric and alphanumeric characters with no special characters (_#/?"&$@ etc…) and keep it less than 30 characters long.  Otherwise you will get an error when uploading your report to the state server.

 

  PACs and Political Party Committees, a  "Campaign" must be selected in the Transaction information - Expenditure screen of the MERTS software for each expenditure made to a Candidate Committee, a Ballot Question Committee, or a vendor for the purpose of supporting or opposing a candidate or ballot issue. How to add a campaign in MERTS
Remember, when submitting a campaign statement, you are attesting that everything within the statement is accurate and true. Section 33(10) states “If a candidate, treasurer, or other individual designated as responsible for a committee's record keeping, report preparation, or report filing knowingly files an incomplete or inaccurate statement or report required by this section, that individual is subject to a civil fine of not more than $1,000.00.” An inaccurate statement should NOT be filed to satisfy a deadline, this includes amendments.  

Before stepping down as the Treasurer for a committee, don’t forget to provide the current MERTS file to the new Treasurer so they can continue reporting campaign statements.  Read this ruling for more information

 

 

 

 

Do you need MERTS and/or Campaign Finance training for committees?  Select this link and register for a class.

 

 

  Have a campaign finance question?  Send an email to disclosure@michigan.gov and one of our analysts will get back to you.  If you have a MERTS software question, send an email to mertstechsupport@egov.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter @MichCFR.