24-hour/10-day Independent Expenditure Report Instructions

What is an “independent expenditure”?

An “independent expenditure” is an expenditure made in connection with a communication (example, a billboard, advertisement, or mailing) that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a clearly identified measure. An independent expenditure is a payment that is not made to—or at the behest of—the affected candidate or committee.

Independent Expenditures in Connection with State Elections – When and Where to File a Form 496

When: A Form 496 is due within 24 hours when:

A Form 496 is due within 10 days when:

Where: File Form 496 electronically with the Secretary of State. No paper copies are required and no copies are required to be filed with other filing officers. A committee that makes independent expenditures in connection with a CalPERS or CalSTRS election must also file a copy with the relevant board’s office.

Independent Expenditures in Connection with Local Elections - When are Where to File a Form 496.

When: A Form 496 is due within 24 hours when:

A Form 496 is due within 10 days when:

Where: File Form 496 by fax, guaranteed overnight delivery, personal delivery or email with the filing officer(s) who would receive your campaign statements if you were a committee primarily formed to support or oppose the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed by the independent expenditure. In most cases this is the filing officer with whom the candidate or ballot measure committee files. Regular mail may not be used. A local ordinance may also require this form to be filed electronically.

Other Important Information

Reporting Examples

How to Complete a Form 496

Report Number: Provide a unique identifying number on each Form 496 filed. Amendments to a report must show the original report identification number and state the reason for the amendment.

Part 1. Candidate or Measure: Identify the candidate or ballot measure supported or opposed. Include the candidate’s district number (if any) or the letter or number of the ballot measure and its jurisdiction. Use a separate form for each candidate or measure. For independent expenditures supporting or opposing the qualification of a local measure, identify the measure’s name or subject matter.

Part 2. Independent Expenditures Made: Provide the date and in the description field, a description of the expenditure (example, radio advertisement, billboard, mailing) and the cumulative-to-date total for that candidate or measure in connection with the election. When filing an amendment, ensure that the cumulative-to-date total is accurate on the most recently filed Form 496. It is not necessary to amend the cumulative-to-date total on previous reports. In the amount field, list the amount of the specific expenditure disclosed in the description field.

Note: The cumulative-to-date total is not required when filing a 10-day $5,000 ballot measure report outside of the 90-day election cycle.

Part 3. Contribution Received: Disclose contributions of $100 or more received since the closing date of the last campaign statement filed (Form 450 or 460) through the date of the independent expenditure. Start with January 1 if no statement has been filed. Disclose the name and address of the contributor and, if the contributor is an individual, his or her occupation and the name of his or her employer. If the contributor is self-employed, disclose the name of the business. Include the date and amount of the contribution, the contributor code, and type of contribution. Enter the interest rate if the contribution is a loan.

Except for contributions reported on a Form 496 related to the qualification of a local ballot measure, once a contribution has been reported on Form 496, it is not necessary to report that contribution on any additional Form 496 filings.

This form was prepared by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). For detailed information on campaign reporting requirements and the Information Practices Act of 1977, see the FPPC Campaign Disclosure Manual for your type of committee. Campaign filing deadlines, forms, and other informational materials are available on the FPPC website (www.fppc.ca.gov).

Authority cited: Government Code Sections 82031, 82036.5, 84204, 84204.5, 84213, 84215 and 85500 and FPPC Regulation 18550

Supplemental Instructions for Multipurpose Organizations Including Nonprofits

The following reporting rules apply to a multipurpose organization that makes independent expenditures.

Donor Disclosure

A multipurpose organization that qualifies as a recipient committee and identifies donors using the “last in, first out” (LIFO) accounting method must only itemize contributors of $1,000 or more instead of $100 or more as required for donors that made a payment for political purposes as outlined in Government Code Section 84222.

Note: If the funds used for an independent expenditure include both funds received for political purposes and LIFO funds, the Form 496 will list donors at both the $100 and the $1,000 thresholds. See page 2 of the Form 496 instructions to determine what specific contributor information must be disclosed.


Form 496

End of Page, Form 496 Instructions