Noncandidate Committee FAQs
When does my organization need to register with the Campaign Spending Commission (“Commission”) as a Noncandidate Committee (“NCC”)?
Registration with the Commission as a NCC is required within ten (10) days of either event occurring: 1) Receiving contributions in an aggregate amount of more than $1,000 within a two-year election period; or 2) Making or incurring expenditures in an aggregate amount of more than $1,000 within a two-year election period.
The Organizational Report is due within two (2) days if either of the thresholds above is exceeded within thirty (30) days of an election.
How do I register my organization as a noncandidate committee with the Campaign Spending Commission?
Registering with the Commission means electronically filing an Organizational Report in the Noncandidate Committee Filing System (“NCFS”). In order to access or log in to the NCFS, the chairperson and treasurer of the noncandidate committee must complete and submit an Noncandidate Committee Electronic Filing Form to obtain a username and password from the Commission. Go to the NCC Forms page to get started: https://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/nc/nc-forms-2/.
My noncandidate committee has a new chairperson and/or treasurer but the Noncandidate Committee Filing System (“NCFS”) is not letting me change the chairperson’s or treasurer’s name in my Organizational Report. Why not?
You will not be able to change the name of the chairperson or treasurer from the NCFS. If there is a change in the chairperson or treasurer, they must each complete and submit a new Noncandidate Committee Electronic Filing Form if they are separate individuals; otherwise, only one form is necessary if they are the same person. The Commission will change the name(s) of your new chairperson and/or treasurer. Your committee will then be responsible for updating their contact information (i.e., phone number, email address, and mailing address) and filing an amended organizational report in the NCFS. Go to the NCC Forms page to get started: https://ags.hawaii.gov/campaign/nc/nc-forms-2/.
Submit a new Noncandidate Committee Electronic Filing Form with the chairperson’s and treasurer’s signature. The Commission will change the name(s) of the chairperson and/or treasurer on your Organizational Report. Your committee will then be responsible for updating your new chairperson and/or treasurer’s contact information by logging in to the Noncandidate Committee Filing System and filing an amended Organizational Report.
Log in to the Noncandidate Committee Filing System, click on “Edit Organizational Report” under the “Administration” tab, update your address and telephone number, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “File Report.”
How do I notify the Commission that my noncandidate committee does not plan to receive contributions or make expenditures of more than $1,000 for the election period and would like to receive the filing waiver for certain reports in an election year?
By the fifth calendar day before the due date of the preliminary primary report (i.e., July 24, 2020 for the 2020 election), a noncandidate committee that does not plan to receive contributions or make expenditures of more than $1,000 for the election period must notify the Commission by checking the appropriate box in the noncandidate committee’s Organizational Report. The noncandidate committee will only need to electronically file the Final Election Period Report due thirty (30) days after a general election, and subsequent Supplemental Reports, but must file reports before that if they exceed the $1,000 threshold at any time during the election period.
Filing A Disclosure Report
My noncandidate committee did not spend any money or receive any contributions during the current reporting period and I am not a $1,000 or less noncandidate committee, are we required to file a disclosure report?
Yes, even if a committee has no activity to report for any applicable reporting period (e.g., received or made zero ($0) contributions or spent zero ($0) money), a disclosure report must still be filed on the Noncandidate Committee Filing System.
How do I report an online contribution (i.e., PayPal) that charged my noncandidate committee a transaction fee?
Report the full amount of the contribution (i.e., $25) in Schedule A – Contributions Received and report the fee (i.e., $2.50) in Schedule B2 – Expenditures Made. In other words, report the gross amount (not the net amount) of contribution in Schedule A and report the fee charged to the committee as an expenditure in Schedule B2.
When the filing process has been completed in the Noncandidate Committee Filing System, a Filing Confirmation page will appear. All reports filed with the Commission are immediately available for public inspection on the Commission’s website (hawaii.gov/campaign). Click on “Noncandidate Committees” then “Browse Data,” “View Reports & Fundraiser Notices,” and “Noncandidate Committee Contribution and Expenditure Reports and Organizational Reports” or go directly to https://csc.hawaii.gov/NCFSPublic/ReportList.php.
Enter your noncandidate committee’s name in the search box and click on “Search.” When your noncandidate committee’s name appears, click on your noncandidate committee’s name for a list of reports that have been filed.
Log in to the Noncandidate Committee Filing System and click on “Amend Mode.” You should see a red band across the page that says, “AMENDMENT MODE.” Make the necessary changes in the appropriate schedule(s) and file the report – all while remaining in the “AMENDMENT MODE.” Reports submitted this way will be filed as an amended report.
Keep in mind that amended reports cannot conflict with the chairperson’s and treasurer’s certification that the original report filing was true, complete, and accurate, and are for changes such as correcting typos or errors in names/addresses of contributors or vendors. Conflicts with the chairperson’s and treasurer’s certification for such things as failing to report contributions or expenditures in the original report will likely be fined by the Commission.
Follow the instructions on the letter and submit your payment online or by check made payable to the “Hawaii Election Campaign Fund” then mail the check to the following address:
Campaign Spending Commission
235 South Beretania Street, Room 300
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
Online Payment Link: www.hawaii.gov/campaign/payment
Enter the market value of the nonmonetary contribution in Schedule A – Contributions Received and make a corresponding entry in Schedule B2 – Expenditures Made. The corresponding entry is very important to prevent inflating your noncandidate committee’s cash on hand amount.
Do I need to wait until a filing deadline or the close of a reporting period to begin entering contributions and expenditures?
No, it is recommended that contributions and expenditures for the noncandidate committee be entered into the Noncandidate Committee Filing System as it becomes available and the system will keep track of these entries until you are ready to file.
Certain receipts received by noncandidate committees are not considered “contributions” for reporting purposes. An “other receipt” is money received by a noncandidate committee that does not meet the definition of contribution but is still reportable on Schedule C – Other Receipts. Examples include interest earned on the committee’s bank account, returns (by vendors), refunds, rebates, and sales of durable assets.
There is a specific schedule for unpaid expenditures called Schedule D – Unpaid Expenditures. Unpaid expenditures must be reported in Schedule D until payment is made in full or the debt is forgiven. Forgiven debts are considered non-monetary contributions subject to the noncandidate committee’s contribution limit. For each unpaid expenditure that is forgiven, you must enter an off-setting contribution for the same amount on Schedule A – Contributions Received. Unpaid expenditures and paid unpaid expenditures are reported on Schedule D and never on Schedule B – Expenditures Made.
The Late Contributions/Expenditures Report must be filed by noncandidate committees that make contributions to candidates aggregating more than $500, receive contributions from any person aggregating more than $500, or make independent expenditures aggregating more than $500 within the period of fourteen (14) calendar days through four (4) calendar days prior to a primary, special primary, general or special general election. The report is required to be electronically filed no later than three (3) calendar days prior to the applicable election. Contributions and independent expenditures listed on the Late Contributions/Expenditures Report will also be listed on the subsequent final election disclosure report; however, the contribution and independent expenditure data is only entered once.
An excess contribution is any contribution over the legal limit. If an excess contribution is not deposited and returned within seven (7) days of receipt, the excess contribution is not required to be reported. If you miss the seven (7) day return, the excess contribution must be reported on the applicable disclosure report and returned to the original contributor within thirty (30) days of receipt of the excess contribution. Any excess contribution not returned to the original contributor within thirty (30) days shall escheat to the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund. Call the Commission at (808) 586-0285 to report the excess contribution.
My noncandidate committee will no longer participate in the election and does not want to file disclosure reports. What do I need to do?
Once registered with the Commission, a noncandidate committee must continue to file periodic campaign disclosure reports by the applicable deadline on the Noncandidate Committee Filing System. To end or terminate your registration with the Commission, you must submit a Request for Termination of Registration form and your closing bank account statement showing a zero ($0) balance, if a bank account for your committee was opened. To qualify for termination, your last report filed with the Commission must show a zero ($0) balance with no surplus or deficit.
I submitted my termination request form, does that mean my noncandidate committee is terminated and I am no longer required to file disclosure reports?
No. Termination of your noncandidate committee’s registration is not official until the Commission approves your request. The noncandidate committee must continue to file disclosure reports until your request is approved by the Commission and your committee has received a signed copy of the termination request form. If you do not receive a signed copy within ten (10) days of filing the request, please call the Commission at (808) 586-0285.