What is a Reporting Exemption?
A committee or conduit with limited activity may be eligible for an exemption from filing campaign finance reports. While on exemption, the committee or conduit is not required to file campaign finance reports.
To be eligible for a reporting exemption, the committee must not accept contributions or expenditures in aggregate of $2,500 in a calendar year. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(1)(a). Incurred debts and obligations are included in the $2,500 threshold. A committee which in a calendar year, collects $1,600 of contributions and spends $1,000 has $2,600 of aggregate activity and is not eligible to claim exemption.
- For a candidate committee, contributions (including loans) from the candidate are included in the $2,500 threshold.
- As a conduit does not report its receipts, the $2,500 threshold only applies to expenditures. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(1)(a).
- A committee or conduit's exempt status remains in effect only for the calendar year in which the request is made. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(2).
A committee or conduit's exempt status remains in effect only for the calendar year in which the request is made. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(2).
In a calendar year in which a state candidate committee is participating in an election, the candidate committee cannot claim the exemption covering any period ending sooner than the date of the election. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(1)(bm).
A candidate committee of a candidate for local office is eligible for exemption at any time and may claim the exemption on its initial registration statement or on an amended registration statement. An exemption claimed by a local candidate applies until the committee exceeds $2,500, or amends its registration statement to become a state candidate committee, or is dissolved. Wis. Stat. § 11.0104(1)(c)
If a committee or conduit exceeds $2,500 in contributions or expenditures in that calendar year, an amended registration should be filed within 10 days indicating that the registrant is no longer eligible to claim exemption. Campaign Finance reports for that calendar year must be filed. Wis. Stat. §§ 11.0203(3)(a), 11.0303(3)(a), 11.0403(3)(a), 11.0503(3)(a), 11.0603(3)(a), 11.0703(3), 11.0803(3)(a), 11.0903(3)(a).
To request exemption, a committee or conduit should amend their registration and indicate that they are eligible for a filing exemption. For assistance with amending a campaign finance registration statement, please see the CFIS User's Guide.
Maintaining Records During Exemption
A committee or conduit must continue to maintain records of all contributions and expenditures during exemption. Records must be maintained in an organized and legible manner for at least three years from the date of the election in which the committee or conduit participates. Wis. Stat. §§ 11.0201(4), 11.0301(4), 11.0401(4), 11.0501(4),11.0601(4), 11.0701(4), 11.0801(4), 11.0901(4).