Form 7 Filers
Communications Costs by Corporations and Membership Organizations
- What is a Communication Cost?
- Who needs to file?
- What do I need to file?
- How do I file?
- When do I need to file?
- What do I need to report?
What is a Communication Cost?
52 U.S.C. 30118 allows “communications by a corporation to its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families or by a labor organization to its members and their families on any subject,” including the express advocacy of the election or defeat of any Federal candidate. The costs of such communications must be reported to the Federal Election Commission under certain circumstances.
Who needs to file?
Every membership organization, labor organization or corporation which makes disbursements for communications pursuant to 11 CFR §114.3, when such costs are directly attributable to any communication expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, if such costs exceed $2,000 for any election.
What do I need to file?
Reports of Communication Costs are reported on FEC FORM 7. This form is available here. [pdf]
How do I file?
Original forms should be mailed to the Federal Election Commission at 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463 or filed electronically.
When do I need to file?
Organizations required to report must do so during a calendar year in which a regularly scheduled general election is held. These reports are filed quarterly and, with respect to any general election, a 12 Day Pre-General Election Report must also be filed.
The organization must file reports beginning with the first reporting period during which the aggregate cost for such communications exceeds $2,000 per election, and for each subsequent period in which the organization makes additional disbursements in the same election. (11 CFR §104.6(a)(1))
What do I need to report?
For each communication:
- The type of communication (direct mail, telephone, etc.)
- The class or category communicated with (executive/administrative personnel, members, etc.)
- The date(s) of the communication
- Whether the communication supported or opposed a particular candidate
- The name of the candidate, the office sought, state, district (if applicable) and whether the communication was for the primary or general election
- The cost of the communication