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Commission Rules

Chapter 18.

GENERAL RULES CONCERNING REPORTS

§18.1. Forms

§18.3. Provision of Forms by Local Filing Authority

§18.5. Specification of Office

§18.7. Timely Reports and Complete Reports

§18.9. Corrected/Amended Reports

§18.13. Fine for a Late Report

§18.15. Additional Fine

§18.17. Report Must be Filed

§18.19. Affidavit of Timely Filing

§18.21. Jurisdiction to Consider Waiver Request

§18.23. Administrative Waiver of Fine

§18.24. General Guidelines for Other Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine

§18.25. Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type I

§18.26. Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type II

§18.31. Adjustments to Reporting Thresholds

§18.1. Forms

(a) The executive director shall prescribe forms for statements and reports required to be filed with the commission.

(b) The executive director may issue a certificate approving a form submitted to the commission for approval if the form:

(c) A filer whose form has been approved by the executive director under Subsection (b) must submit a new form for approval if information required to be reported has changed since the original form was approved.

(d) A filer who files a report using computer software provided by the commission or using computer software that meets commission specifications for a standard file format must enter data for the report in accordance with the instructions provided for the software.

(e) A filer who files a report using computer software provided by the commission must use the most current version of the software.

§18.3. Provision of Forms by Local Filing Authority

A local filing authority shall make the appropriate form available for use by persons required to file a report with that filing authority.

§18.5. Specification of Office

When a filer is required to identify the office sought by a candidate or held by an officeholder, the filer shall list the title of the public office, including the district and, if the office is an office of a political subdivision, the name of the political subdivision.

§18.7. Timely Reports and Complete Reports

(a) A report is timely if it is complete and is filed by the applicable deadline using the reporting method required by law.

(b) The deadline for any report filed electronically with the commission is midnight Central Time Zone on the last day for filing the report under the law requiring the filing of the report.

(c) A report is late if it is:

(d)  A report filed electronically is not late if:

§18.9. Corrected/Amended Reports

(a) A filer may correct/amend a report filed with the commission or a local filing authority at any time.

(b) A corrected/amended report must clearly identify how the corrected/amended report is different from the report being corrected/amended .

(c) A filer who files a corrected/amended report must submit an affidavit identifying the information that was corrected/amended .

(d) A corrected/amended report is not subject to a late fine if filed in accordance with §571.0771 or §305.033(f) of the Government Code, or §254.0405 of the Election Code, as applicable.

(e) Except as provided by subsections (b) and (c), this section does not apply to a corrected/amended report filed under §571.069, Government Code, or a corrected/amended report filed in response to a sworn complaint.

§18.13. Fine for a Late Report

(a) Except as provided by subsection (b) or (c) of this section, the fine is $500 for:

(b) The fine for a report due eight days before an election is $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late, up to a maximum fine of $10,000.

(c) The fine for the first semiannual report under Section 254.063, 254.123, or 254.153, Election Code, that is required to be filed by a candidate or political committee following the primary or general election is $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late, up to a maximum fine of $10,000.

(d) A fine assessed under this chapter is in addition to any other sanction assessed under other law.

§18.15. Additional Fine

In addition to any other fine assessed under this chapter, the commission may vote to impose a fine against a filer whose report is more than 30 days late or who has not paid an assessed fine within 10 days after receiving the commission notice of lateness, subject to the statutory limit.

§18.17. Report Must be Filed

The payment of a civil or criminal fine for failure to file a report, or for filing a report late, does not satisfy a filer's obligation to file the report.  Late fines continue to accrue until the report is filed.

§18.19. Affidavit of Timely Filing

A filer who has been notified by the commission that a report is late but who filed the report on or before the deadline may submit an affidavit to the executive director swearing that the report was timely filed.

§18.21. Jurisdiction to Consider Waiver Request

A filer must file a complete report before the executive director or commission will consider a request to waive or reduce a fine assessed for failure to file a timely report.

§18.23. Administrative Waiver of Fine

(a) A filer may request the executive director to waive a late fine by submitting an affidavit to the executive director that states facts that establish that:

(b) If, in the executive director's discretion, the affidavit establishes grounds for a waiver under this section, the executive director shall waive the fine.

§18.24. General Guidelines for Other Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine

(a) A filer who does not qualify for a waiver under §18.23 of this title (relating to Administrative Waiver of Fine) may request the executive director to waive a late fine by submitting an affidavit to the executive director. The executive director may waive or reduce the late fine if the filer meets the criteria and the late report meets the qualifications under the guidelines set out in §18.25 of this title (relating to Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type I) and §18.26 of this title (relating to Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type II).

(b) For purposes of determining a waiver or reduction of a late fine under §18.25 and §18.26 of this title, a late report will be classified by report type, as follows:

(c) For purposes of determining a waiver or reduction of a late fine under §18.25 and §18.26 of this title, a filer requesting a waiver or reduction of a late fine will be categorized by filer type, as follows:

(d) For purposes of a reduction of a late fine under §18.25 and §18.26 of this title, the following explanations will be accepted as showing good cause:

(e) For purposes of a reduction of a late fine under §18.25 (relating to Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type I) and §18.26 of this title, the following explanations will not be accepted as showing good cause:

(f) A late fine that is reduced under §18.25 or §18.26 of this title will revert to the full amount originally assessed if the reduced fine is not paid within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the letter informing the filer of the reduction.

(g) A filer may appeal a determination made under §18.25 or §18.26 of this title by submitting a request in writing to the commission.

§18.25. Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type I

(a) The executive director shall apply the guidelines set out in this section to a late report classified as Report Type I under §18.24(b) of this title.

(b) In order to qualify for a waiver or reduction of a late fine under this section, a filer must meet all of the following criteria:

(c) The executive director shall use the following levels chart to determine the level of waiver or reduction of a late fine under this section:

Report Type I Levels Chart
(For All Reports Other Than Critical Reports)

LEVEL # OF PRIORS IN LAST 5 YEARS CATEGORY A CATEGORY B CATEGORY C EXPLANATORY NOTE
1 0 Waiver Waiver Waiver  
1.5 1 $150 $100 $50 Level 2 violation with good cause shownª
2 1 $300 $200 $100  
2.5 2 $400 $300 $150 Level 3 violation with good cause shownª
3 2 $500 $500 $250  

ªThe categorization shifts one-half level (from Level 2 to 1.5; from Level 3 to 2.5) if the filer’s explanation qualifies as good cause under section 18.24(d) of this title.

§18.26. Administrative Waiver or Reduction of Fine: Report Type II

(a) The executive director shall apply the guidelines set out in this section to a late report classified as Report Type II under §18.24(b) of this title (relating to General Guidelines for Other Administrative Waiver of Reduction of Fine)..

(b) In order to qualify for a waiver or reduction of a late fine under this section, a filer must meet all of the following criteria:

(c) The executive director shall use the following levels chart to determine the level of waiver or reduction of a late fine under this section if:

Report Type II Levels Chart
(For Critical Reports under section 18.26(c))

LEVEL # OF PRIORS IN LAST 5 YEARS CATEGORY A CATEGORY B CATEGORY C EXPLANATORY NOTE
1.5 0 $150 $100 $50 Level 2 violation with good cause shownª
2 0 $300 $200 $100  
2.5 1 $400 $300 $150 Level 3 violation with good cause shownª
3 1 $500 $500 $250  

ªThe categorization shifts one-half level (from Level 2 to 1.5; from Level 3 to 2.5) if the filer’s explanation qualifies as good cause under section 18.24(d) of this title.

(d) The executive director shall use the following formulas chart to determine the level of waiver or reduction of a late fine under this section if:

Report Type II Formulas Chart
(For Critical Reports under section 18.26(d))

Category A

NO GOOD CAUSE EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $500 1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $1,000 2nd – 11th days late
+ $500 for every full 30 days thereafter, up to $10,000 12th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30-day segment
GOOD CAUSE SHOWN EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $150 (0 priors); or
Starting Fine = $400 (1 or 2 priors)
1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $1,000 2nd – 11th days late
+ $500 every full 30 days thereafter, up to $10,000 12th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30-day segment


Category B

NO GOOD CAUSE EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $500 1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $500 2nd – 6th days late
+ $250 for every full 30 days thereafter, up to $5,000 7th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30-day segment
GOOD CAUSE SHOWN EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $100 (0 priors); or
Starting Fine = $300 (1 or 2 priors)
1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $500 2nd – 6th days late
+ $250 every full 30 days thereafter, up to $5,000 7th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30-day segment


Category C

NO GOOD CAUSE EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $500 1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $500 2nd – 6th days late
+ $250 for every full 30 days thereafter, up to $5,000 7th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30–day segment
GOOD CAUSE SHOWN EXPLANATORY NOTES
Starting Fine = $50 (0 priors); or
Starting Fine = $150 (1 or 2 priors)
1st day late
+ $100 a day, up to $500 2nd – 6th days late
+ $250 every full 30 days thereafter, up to $5,000 7th day late – Filed Date: Take # of days divided by 30; drop remainder days that do not make a full 30–day segment

(e) Comments:

§18.31. Adjustments to Reporting Thresholds

(a) Pursuant to section 571.064 of the Government Code, the reporting thresholds are adjusted as follows:

Campaign Finance Reports: Section of Election Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

253.031(b)

The amount of political contributions or political expenditures permitted by a political committee before a campaign treasurer appointment is required

$500

$870

253.031(d)(2)

The amount of political contributions or political expenditures permitted by a county executive party of a political party before a campaign treasurer appointment is required

$25,000

$32,320

254.031(a)(1)

Threshold at which contributor information is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(2)

Threshold at which lender information is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(3)

Threshold at which information on the payee of a political expenditure is required to be reported

$100

$180

254.031(a)(5)

Threshold below which contributor information is not required to be reported

$50

$90

254.031(a)(5)

Threshold below which payee information is not required to be reported

$100

$180

254.031(a)(9)

Threshold at which the source of any credit, interest, return of deposit fee from political contributions or asset is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(10)

Threshold at which the proceeds from sale of a political asset is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(11)

Threshold at which any gain from an investment purchased with political contributions is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.031(a)(12)

Threshold at which any other gain from political contribution is required to be reported

$100

$130

254.0311(b)(1)

Threshold at which contributor information for contributions from non-caucus members is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(2)

Threshold at which lender information is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(3)

Threshold at which payee information for expenditures is required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(3)

Threshold below which payee information for expenditures is not required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0311(b)(4)

Threshold below which contributor and payee information is not required to be reported by a caucus

$50

$90

254.0312

Threshold at which the best efforts rule requires one to make a written or oral request for contributor information in order to be considered in compliance when contributor information is missing

$500

$680

254.036

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a filer qualifies for the electronic filing exemption, if certain conditions are met

$20,000

$27,140

254.038(a)

Contribution threshold triggering a Special Report Near Election by Certain Candidates and Political Committees during the 9 days before election

$1,000

$1,790

254.039

Contribution threshold triggering Special Report Near Election by GPACs during the 9 days before election

$5,000

$6,090

254.039

Direct Campaign expenditure thresholds triggering Special Report Near Election by GPACs ($1,000 for single candidate or $15,000 for group of candidates) during the 9 days before election

$1,000/$15,000

$1,790/$26,780

254.0611(a)(2)

Threshold at which principal occupation/employer information for contributors to judicial filers is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.0611(a)(3)

Threshold at which the disclosure of an asset purchased with political contributions is required to be reported by judicial filers

$500

$900

254.0612

Threshold at which principal occupation/employer information for contributors to statewide executive and legislative candidates is required to be reported

$500

$900

254.095

Threshold of political contributions or political contributions below which a report is not required for officeholders who do not file with the Commission, unless also a candidate

$500

$900

254.151(6)

Threshold at which the principal occupation for GPAC contributors is required to be reported

$50

$90

254.1541(a)

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a GPAC has a $100 contribution itemization threshold, rather than $50

$20,000

$25,860

254.1541(b)

Contribution reporting threshold for GPACs qualifying under section 254.1541 set to $100

$100

$180

254.156(1)

Threshold at which contributor, lender, and payee information is required for a political contribution, loan, or expenditure, respectively, to an MPAC

$10

$20

254.156(2)

Threshold at which contribution, loan, and expenditure information for MPACs qualifying under section 254.1541 is set to $20

$20

$40

254.181, 254.182, 254.183

Threshold of political contributions and political expenditures below which a candidate or SPAC may elect to avoid certain pre-election filing requirements (modified reporting)

$500

$900

254.261

Threshold at which a person making direct campaign expenditures in an election must disclose the expenditures, including payee information

$100

$130


Lobby Registrations and Reports: Section of Government Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

305.003(1)

Threshold of expenditures over which a person must register as a lobbyist

$500, by 1 Tex. Admin. Code §34.41

$780

305.003(2)

Threshold of compensation or reimbursement over which a person must register as a lobbyist

$1,000, by 1 Tex. Admin. Code §34.43

$1,560

305.004(7)

Threshold of expenditures and compensation below which a person lobbying on behalf of political party is excepted from the requirement to register as a lobbyist

$5,000

$8,930

305.005(g)(2)

Threshold of category to report compensation less than $10,000

$10,000

$17,860

305.005(g)(3)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $10,000 but less than $25,000

$25,000

$44,630

305.005(g)(4)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $25,000 but less than $50,000

$50,000

$89,260

305.005(g)(5)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $50,000 but less than $100,000

$100,000

$178,520

305.005(g)(6)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $100,000 but less than $150,000

$150,000

$267,770

305.005(g)(7)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $150,000 but less than $200,000

$200,000

$357,030

305.005(g)(8)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $200,000 but less than $250,000

$250,000

$446,280

305.005(g)(9)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $250,000 but less than $300,000

$300,000

$535,540

305.005(g)(10)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $300,000 but less than $350,000

$350,000

$624,790

305.005(g)(11)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $350,000 but less than $400,000

$400,000

$714,050

305.005(g)(12)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $400,000 but less than $450,000

$450,000

$803,310

305.005(g)(13)

Upper threshold of category to report compensation of at least $450,000 but less than $500,000

$500,000

$892,560

305.005(g-1)

Threshold of compensation or reimbursement at which a registrant must report the exact amount

$500,000

$892,560

305.0061(c)(3)

Threshold over which the name of a legislator who is the recipient of a gift, a description of the gift, and amount of the gift is required to be disclosed

$50

$90

305.0061(e-1)

Threshold below which an expenditure for food or beverages is considered a gift and reported as such

$50

$90

305.0063

Threshold of expenditures below which a registrant may file lobby activities reports annually instead of monthly

$1,000

$1,790


Personal Financial Statements: Section of Gov't Code

Threshold Description

Original Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

572.022(a)(1)

Threshold of category to report an amount less than $5,000

less than $5,000

less than $8,930

572.022(a)(2)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $5,000 but less than $10,000

$5,000 to less than $10,000

$8,930 to less than $17,860

572.022(a)(3)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $10,000 but less than $25,000

$10,000 to less than $25,000

$17,860 to less than $44,630

572.022(a)(4)

Threshold of category to report an amount of at least $25,000 or more

$25,000 or more

$44,630 or more

572.005, 572.023(b)(1)

Threshold to disclose the source and category of amount of retainer received by a business entity in which the filer has a substantial interest; section 572.005 defines substantial interest, in part, as owning over $25,000 of the fair market value of the business entity

$25,000

$44,630

572.023(b)(4)

Threshold over which income from interest, dividends, royalties, and rents is required to be reported

$500

$900

572.023(b)(5)

Threshold over which the identity of each loan guarantor and person to whom filer owes liability on a personal note or lease agreement is required to be reported

$1,000

$1,790

572.023(b)(7)

Threshold of value over which the identity of the source of a gift and a gift description is required to be reported

$250

$450

572.023(b)(8)

Threshold over which the source and amount of income received as beneficiary of a trust asset is required to be reported

$500

$900


Speaker Election and Certain Ceremonial Reports: Section of Government Code

Threshold Type

Current Threshold Amount

Adjusted Amount

302.014(4)

Expenditure of campaign funds over $10 must be disclosed, including payee's name and address and the purpose

$10

$20

303.005(a)(1) – (10)

Thresholds applicable to contribution and expenditure disclosure requirements for a governor for a day or speaker’s reunion day ceremony report

$50

$90

 

(b) The effective date of this rule is January 1, 2020.