Independent Expenditure Reporting for Individuals & Unregistered Groups/Organizations

General Information

State Level Independent Expenditure e-Form

Local Level Independent Expenditure Form PDF icon


An individual, group or organization that spends more than $100.00 in a calendar year on “independent expenditures” to support or oppose the nomination or election of a state or local candidate or advocate the qualification, passage or defeat of a state or local ballot question (includes millage issues) is required to file this form as required under Michigan’s Campaign Finance Act, (MCFA) P.A. 388 of 1976.  The filing is required to be made within 10 calendar days of meeting the $100.00 threshold.  An organization includes but is not limited to a corporation, union or domestic dependent sovereign.

The independent expenditure reporting discussed here is NOT filed by a group or organization registered as a committee under the MCFA; committees registered under the MCFA disclose their expenditures on forms specially designed for their use. A group or an organization must register as a “committee” under the MCFA as soon as it spends or receives $500.00 or more in a calendar year to influence voters for or against the nomination or election of a candidate or qualification, passage or defeat of a ballot question.  See exemptions below

Exemptions: 

  • An individual, other than a candidate, does not constitute a committee;
  • A group or organization, other than a committee registered in Michigan, that uses funds from its treasury and does not solicited or accept funds from other sources to make an independent expenditure does not constitute a committee; and
  • A group or organization, other than a committee registered in Michigan, that uses funds from its treasury and does not solicited or accept funds from other sources to make a contribution to a Ballot Question Committee or Independent Expenditure Committee (SuperPAC) does not constitute a committee.

Do not use the paper forms supplied here for reporting on statewide ballot questions or candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Member of State Board of Education, U of M Board of Regent, MSU Trustee, WSU Board of Governors, Supreme Court , State Representative, State Senate or if the person making the expenditure resides out of state.  In these cases, the form must be filed electronically with the Michigan Department of State’s, Bureau of Elections. 


Independent Expenditure: means an expenditure by a person if the expenditure is not made in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a ballot question committee or a candidate, a candidate committee or its agents or a political party committee or its agents, and if the expenditure is not a contribution to a committee.

An individual, group or organization has made an “independent expenditure” if:

  • the money was spent to support or oppose the nomination or election of a candidate or advocate the qualification passage or defeat of a ballot question (includes millage issues);
  • goods or services were provided to support or oppose the nomination or election of a candidate or advocate the qualification passage or defeat of a ballot question (includes millage issues);
  • the money was not spent in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of:
    • a ballot question committee or its agents
    • a candidate, a candidate committee or its agents or a
    • political party committee or its agents;
  • goods or services were provided without cooperation, consultation or not in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of:
    • a ballot question committee or its agents
    • a candidate, a candidate committee or its agents or a
    • political party committee or its agents;
  • the money was not given to a committee registered under the MCFA;
  • goods or services were not provided to a committee registered under the MCFA.

Filing Official:  Complete the paper form and forward to the appropriate County Clerk’s Office when:

  • Ballot Question Supported or Opposed is a county or local proposal.
  • Candidate Supported or Opposed is running for a County, Township, City, Village, other local level office or judicial office (excluding Supreme Court).


Filing Information: File within 10 calendar days after the $100.01 threshold for reporting independent expenditures is reached. Submit a separate Independent Expenditure Report each time the $100.01 threshold for reporting independent expenditures is reached.

  • For local candidates and ballot questions, submit one copy to the clerk of the county where the individual who made the independent expenditure(s) resides or where the group or organization that made the independent expenditure(s) is located.
    • If the filer does not reside in Michigan, file electronically with the Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Elections.
  • For state level candidates, statewide ballot questions and when the filer does not reside in Michigan, file electronically with the Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Elections.

Late Filing Fees Assessed/Penalties:  An individual, group or organization the fails to file or late files an Independent Expenditure Report, a late filing fee will be assessed as follows:

  • If the Independent Expenditure is less than $10,000.00 the fee accrues at $25.00 per business day to a maximum of $1,000.00.
  • If the Independent Expenditure is $10,000.00 or more the fee accrues at $50.00 per business day to a maximum of $5,000.00.

A person that fails to file a required report for more than 30 calendar days is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or both.

For further information contact the Michigan Bureau of Elections or the local county clerk filing official.

State Level Independent Expenditure e-Form

Local Level Independent Expenditure Form PDF icon

Independent Expenditure Reports