Where to File Campaign Statements and Reports - General Purpose Committees

The Political Reform Act requires general purpose committees to file campaign reports and statements. The information below provides a guide to general purpose committees, including major donor and independent expenditure committees, on the different reports and statements that may be required, and where to file each report or statement. 

Overview

In order to know where to file campaign statements, the type and jurisdiction of the general purpose committee must be determined. The type of committee is based on the nature and amount of its activity (i.e., contributions and expenditures), while jurisdiction is based on the location and focus of that activity. Generally, if a committee’s activity is not focused in one city or county race, it will be required to file as a state committee to provide disclosure to a broader sphere of voters. 

Type of Committee or Organization

A general purpose recipient committee receives contributions of $2,000 or more in order to make contributions and expenditures (including independent expenditures) to support or oppose candidates or ballot measures in California. This type of committee is sometimes referred to as a political action committee (PAC).

General purpose non-recipient committees, such as major donor and independent expenditure committees, do not receive funds from other sources. These committees are generally formed when an individual uses personal funds or a corporation uses corporate funds to make contributions or independent expenditures to support or oppose candidates or ballot measures in California.

An individual or business entity that uses personal or corporate funds to make contributions of $10,000 or more in a calendar year qualifies as a major donor committee. An individual or corporation that uses personal or corporate funds to pay for a communication totaling $1,000 or more to support or oppose a candidate or ballot measure, which is not made in consultation, cooperation or coordination with the affected candidate or committee, qualifies as an independent expenditure committee.

C. Multipurpose Organizations

The Act and the FPPC’s regulations address campaign filing requirements for multipurpose organizations (including nonprofits, and federal and out-of-state PACs) involved in California elections. Depending upon their activity, these groups may qualify as a recipient committee, a major donor committee, or an independent expenditure committee. For additional information on requirements for multipurpose organizations, you can review the FPPC’s fact sheet on the subject.

Committee Jurisdiction

A committee’s jurisdiction determines where it must file its campaign statements. The charts below indicate the jurisdiction based on committee activity. 

State General Purpose Committee (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees and PACs)

A committee that makes contributions and expenditures to support or oppose state candidates or state measures, or makes contributions and expenditures to support or oppose local candidates but does not qualify as a city or county committee, is a state general purpose committee. 

All political party committees, including county central committees, are state general purpose committees.

Form

Where to File

Filing Method

Form 410 (Statement of Organization)

Secretary of State

Paper original

Form 425 (Semi-Annual Statement of No Activity)

Secretary of State

Electronic Filers

Electronically and Paper original

Non-Electronic Filers

Paper original and one copy 

Form 450 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement – Short Form)

Secretary of State

Electronic Filers

Electronically and Paper original

Non-Electronic Filers

Paper original and one copy 

Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement)

Secretary of State

Electronic Filers

Electronically and Paper original

Non-Electronic Filers

Paper original and one copy 

Form 461 (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committee Campaign Statement) Secretary of State

Electronic Filers

Electronically and Paper original

Non-Electronic Filers

Paper original and one copy 

Form 462 (Verification of Independent Expenditures) Form 462 is filed with the FPPC within 10 days from the date of an independent expenditure that totals, in the aggregate, $1,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose a candidate or measure.  Email to FPPC at Form462@fppc.ca.gov
Form 496 (24-hour Independent Expenditure Report) See Form 496 below See Form 496 below

Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report)

Secretary of State

All Form 497s are filed electronically even if the $25,000 electronic filing threshold has not been met

Form 511 (Paid Spokesperson Report)

Secretary of State

Electronic Filers

Electronically and Paper original

Non-Electronic Filers

Paper original 

Form E-530

Form E-530 is filed by anyone spending or promising to pay $50,000 or more for a communication disseminated within 45 days of an election, if the communication clearly identifies a candidate for state elective office but does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of that candidate. It must be filed online with the Secretary of State’s office within 48 hours of the payment being made or promised.

Online via Secretary of State

County General Purpose Committee (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees and PACs)

A committee that makes more than 70% of its contributions and expenditures to support or oppose candidates or measures or other county committees in one county, is a county general purpose committee.

Type of Form

Where to file

Filing Method

Form 410 (Statement of Organization)

Secretary of State

Paper original

County Elections Office One copy

Form 425 (Semi-Annual Statement of No Activity)

County Elections Office

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your County)

Form 450 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement – Short Form)

County Elections Office

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your County)

Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement)

County Elections Office

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your County)

Form 461 (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committee Campaign Statement) County Elections Office Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your County)
Form 462 (Verification of Independent Expenditures) Form 462 is filed with the FPPC within 10 days from the date of an independent expenditure that totals, in the aggregate, $1,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose a candidate or measure.  Email to FPPC at Form462@fppc.ca.gov
Form 496 (24-hour Independent Expenditure Report) See Form 496 below See Form 496 below

Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report)

County Elections Office

Paper or Electronically (check with your County)

Form 511 (Paid Spokesperson Report)

County Elections Office

Paper or Electronically (check with your County)

Form E-530

Form E-530 is filed by anyone spending or promising to pay $50,000 or more for a communication disseminated within 45 days of an election, if the communication clearly identifies a candidate for state elective office but does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of that candidate. It must be filed online with the Secretary of State's office within 48 hours of the payment being made or promised.

Online via Secretary of State

City General Purpose Committee (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees and PACs)

A committee that makes more than 70% of its contributions and expenditures to support or oppose candidates or measures or other city committees in one city, is a city general purpose committee.

Type of Form

Where to file

Filing Method

Form 410 (Statement of Organization)

Secretary of State

Paper original

City Clerk One copy

Form 425 (Semi-Annual Statement of No Activity)

City Clerk

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your City)

Form 450 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement – Short Form)

City Clerk

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your city)

Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement)

City Clerk

Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your City)

Form 461 (Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Comittee Campaign Statement) City Clerk Paper (original and one copy) or Electronically (check with your City)
Form 462 (Verification of Independent Expenditures) Form 462 is filed with the FPPC within 10 days from the date of an independent expenditure that totals, in the aggregate, $1,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose a candidate or measure.  Email to FPPC at Form462@fppc.ca.gov
Form 496 (24-hour Independent Expenditure Report) See Form 496 below See Form 496 below

Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report)

City Clerk

Paper or Electronically (check with your City)

Form 511 (Paid Spokesperson Report)

City Clerk

Paper or Electronically (check with your City)

Form E-530

Form E-530 is filed by anyone spending or promising to pay $50,000 or more for a communication disseminated within 45 days of an election, if the communication clearly identifies a candidate for state elective office but does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of that candidate. It must be filed online with the Secretary of State's office within 48 hours of the payment being made or promised.

Online via Secretary of State

Form 496 (24-hour Independent Expenditure Report)

General purpose committees who spend campaign money on independent expenditures supporting or opposing candidates or ballot measures, within 90-days of the election, plus on the day of the election, must file a Form 496 within 24 hours.

Where to File: The Form 496 will be filed with the filing officer of the jurisdiction in which the candidate or measure is being voted on. For example, a committee that spends money on a mass mailing to support a state assembly candidate, without the assembly candidate’s knowledge or consent, would file the Form 496 with the Secretary of State. Or, a state PAC that sends a mailer supporting a city ballot measure, without the ballot measure commitee's knowledge or consent, would file the Form 496 with the local city clerk.

Filing Method: If required to be filed with the Secretary of State, then online or electronically. If required to be filed locally, then with the appropriate city or county via paper or electronically (check with the city or county to see if they have electronic filing). Please note if filed via paper, then it should be by email, fax, guaranteed overnight delivery, or personal delivery as required by Section 84204. 

Requirements to Review Status of Jurisdiction for General Purpose Recipient Committees (PACs)

It is important for committees to remember they must regularly review the status of their jurisdiction to determine whether it has changed. The requirements are as follows:

New committees - A general purpose recipient committee that qualifies within six months of an election in connection with which the committee makes contributions or expenditures must verify its filing jurisdiction at the end of each month prior to the election, unless the committee has not made contributions or expenditures of $1,000 or more during that month.

Existing committees - A general purpose committee must verify its filing jurisdiction quarterly at the end of March, June, September and December. A committee that has not made contributions or expenditures of $5,000 or more during the preceding quarterly time period is not required to review or change its status.

When a committee is required to review its status, it must count contributions and expenditures made to support or oppose candidates and measures and other committees (e.g., political parties) during whichever of the following time periods most accurately reflects the current and upcoming activities of the committee:

  • The immediately preceding 24 months; or
  • The current two-year period, beginning with January 1 of an odd-numbered year and ending with December 31 of the following even-numbered year.

Exception for local committees contributing to state candidates - A city or county general purpose committee that makes up to four contributions per calendar year to candidates for elective state office whose districts include part of that jurisdiction, but which would otherwise still qualify as a local committee is not required to change its status to a state committee based on those contributions.

Requirements to Review Status of Jurisdiction for Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committees

Major donor and independent expenditure committees must review their status at least quarterly unless contributions or expenditures made that quarter are $5,000 or less. Once a contribution or independent expenditure is made to a state committee, regardless of the amount, the committee is a state committee for the remainder of the year unless the committee qualifies for the exception discussed below. An individual or business entity that qualifies as a major donor or independent expenditure committee must meet the thresholds and re-qualify as a committee each calendar year.

Exception for local committees contributing to state candidates - A city or county major donor or independent expenditure committee that makes up to four contributions per calendar year to candidates for elective state office whose districts include part of that local jurisdiction, but which would otherwise qualify as a local committee, is not required to changes its status to a state committee based on those contributions.

For additional information, see Campaign Disclosure Manual 4 (general purpose recipient committees; PACs), Campaign Disclosure Manual 5 (major donor committees) and Campaign Disclosure Manual 6 (independent expenditure committees).

Statutory and Regulatory Authority

Government Code sections 84215 and 84605

Regulation 18227.5

You should not rely on this webpage alone to ensure compliance with the Act. If you have any questions, you can Ask the FPPC for Advice.