Reporting Expenses From Personal Funds

Spending your own money on your campaign?  Avoid common reporting errors!   If you intend to seek reimbursement of any amount from political contributions for a political expenditure made from your personal funds, report the expenditure in one of three ways. Method 3 is a new method that will become available on September 28, 2011. We think that Method #1 is the simplest method. Keep in mind that this reporting system is not an accounting system and duplication of expenditures is not uncommon when reporting transactions related to expenditures made from personal funds.

Method #1:  Itemize the expenditure on the “Political Expenditures Made From Personal Funds” schedule (Schedule G) and check the box to indicate that you intend to seek reimbursement from political contributions. (You may not correct a report to allow reimbursement without subjecting yourself to a possible penalty.)  When you reimburse yourself, which could be months or years later, report the reimbursement on the “Political Expenditures” schedule (Schedule F).

Example:  On December 1, 2007, Candidate A spends $500 of her own personal funds to purchase political advertising signs.  She reports the expenditure to the vendor on Schedule G and checks the box to indicate that reimbursement is intended.  One year later, Candidate A reimburses herself from political contributions.  She reports the reimbursement on Schedule F.  Candidate A is the payee and the purpose of the expenditure is to reimburse herself for a political expenditure made from personal funds on December 1, 2007.

We stress that if you intend to seek reimbursement from political contributions for a political expenditure of any amount made from personal funds, you must itemize the expenditure on Schedule G. . 

Method #2: Report the political expenditures made from your personal funds as a loan to your campaign on the “Loans” schedule (Schedule E).  Next, report the political expenditures made from that loan on the “Political Expenditures” schedule (Schedule F).  Remember, the amount you report as a loan in a reporting period may NOT exceed the amount you actually spent from personal funds in that reporting period.  In other words, do not report a $100,000 loan to your campaign if the amount actually spent from personal funds in the reporting period was $5,000.  When you reimburse yourself, which could be months or years later, report the reimbursement on the Schedule F.

Example:  In one reporting period, Candidate B spends $5,000 of his own personal funds to purchase political advertising materials.  He spends $3,000 at Business One and $2,000 at Business Two.  He reports the expenditures as a $5,000 loan on Schedule E and then itemizes each of the two expenditures as a political expenditure on Schedule F. A year later, Candidate B reimburses himself from political contributions by disclosing the reimbursement on Schedule F.  He reports the reimbursement on Schedule F.  The payee in this instance is Candidate B, the category of the expenditure is “Loan Repayment/Reimbursement,” and “political expenditure made from personal funds reported as a loan” is an acceptable brief description.

Method #3: Deposit personal funds in an account in which your political contributions are maintained and report that amount as a loan on the "Loans" schedule (Schedule E). Next, report the political expenditures made from that loan on the "Political Expenditures" schedule (Schedule F). When you reimburse yourself, which could be months or years later, report the reimbursement on the Schedule F. (Note that the reimbursement may not exceed the amount reported as a loan. Also note that personal funds deposited in an account in which political contributions are held are subject to the personal use restriction.)

Example: In one reporting period, Candidate C opens a campaign bank account and deposits $5,000 of her own personal funds into the account. She makes one $3,000 expenditure for political advertising. Candidate C has no other activity in the reporting period. She reports the $5,000 as a loan on Schedule E, itemizes the $3,000 expenditure for the political advertising on Schedule F, and includes the remaining $2,000 on her contributions maintained at the end of the reporting period total. A year later, Candidate C reimburses herself from political contributions by disclosing the reimbursement on Schedule F. The payee in this instance is Candidate C, the category of expenditure is "Loan Repayment/Reimbursement," and "political expenditure made from personal funds reported as a loan" is an acceptable brief description.

If you have any questions regarding your reporting requirements, please contact the Texas Ethics Commission legal department at 512-463-5800.

Last Revision: September 20, 2011
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