Campaign Finance Frequently Asked Questions


How do I register as a candidate or committee?

State Authorized Single Candidate Committee (Type 1)

  • Register with the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE);
  • Submit CF-02, CF-03;
  • The candidate submits the CF-16 (no CF-04 required);
  • NYSBOE will send you a Filer ID#.

Please note: The NYS Public Campaign Finance Program launched on November 9, 2022. This is a program for statewide and state legislative candidates, allowing them the ability to qualify for public matching funds based on eligible contributions from in-district residents. Candidates participating in the Program MUST use an authorized committee for their campaign. If you are interested in participating in the NYS Public Campaign Finance Program, you may find more information and the appropriate PCF-21 Committee Registration Form on the PCFB website.

What is the process for becoming a participating candidate in the NYS Public Campaign Finance Program?

To receive public matching funds, candidates must register a Type 1P committee, meet the eligibility criteria, apply for the Program, be certified by the PCFB, and comply with all program requirements.

For further information, please see the PCFB website.

Local Authorized Single Candidate/Committee (Type 1)

  • Register with NYSBOE;
  • Submit CF-02, CF-03;
  • The candidate submits the CF-16 (no CF-04 required);
  • NYSBOE will send you a Filer ID#.

State or Local Candidate without an Authorized Committee

The CF-04 Form should only be used by candidates to register with NYSBOE to obtain a Filer ID#, in one of two circumstances:

  • The candidate does not have a registered authorized committee (e.g., "Friends of Jane Smith") and is therefore required to personally disclose all the financial activity of the campaign, including any use of his/her own money.
  • The candidate has a registered authorized committee, but chooses to have financial activity for the campaign that will not be disclosed by the authorized committee.

Political Action Committee (PAC) (Type 2)

Constituted and Party Committees (Types 3-7)

  • Submit CF-02 to NYSBOE;
  • Submit CF-03 as applicable;
  • Candidate submits CF-16 if disclosure is only through constituted/party committee.

Constituted and Party Housekeeping Committees (Types 3H-7H) (Only required to file January and July Periodic Reports)

Independent Expenditure Committee (Type 8)

Other (e.g. Multi-Candidate Committee) (Type 9)

  • Submit CF-02 to NYSBOE;
  • Submit CF-03;
  • Candidate submits CF-16 as applicable.

Ballot Issue Committee (Type 9B)

Can I file the Candidate or Committee Claim of Exemption from Filing Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports, CF-05?

A candidate or committee can file this CF-05 form with NYSBOE when:

  • Candidates who do not receive or spend more than $50 (this threshold includes their own personal funds), including candidates for county committee of a political party or for delegate or alternate delegate to a judicial district convention, must inform NYSBOE in writing of this fact.
  • A committee formed solely to support or oppose a ballot issue, that does not raise or spend over $100, is not required to file campaign finance disclosure reports.
  • Candidates and authorized committees solely supporting one candidate for public office, or solely supporting or opposing a ballot proposition, in towns, cities or villages having a population under 10,000, where the candidate and/or committee does not raise or spend in excess of $1,000 in the aggregate for the campaign, are not required to file campaign financial disclosure reports. This threshold includes the personal funds of the candidate.

Filing Itemized Reports Electronically

Electronic Filing
How do I file reports electronically with NYSBOE?

Please see our Electronic Filing System (EFS) Web Application page.

Filing Non-Itemized Reports Electronically

No-Activity Report

If I have not had any campaign activity during a report period, do I need to file a report? If so, what and how do I file?

Yes, you still have to file. All candidates and/or registered committees are required to file January and July periodic reports until termination. Primary, General, and Special Election filing requirements are triggered by candidate/committee activity. If the candidate/committee has had no activity, (i.e., receipts and/or expenditures, such as interest, dividends and bank charges; any outstanding loans/liabilities) during any required reporting period, the candidate/committee is still required to file, in this instance a No-Activity Report. This report can be filed using our New Electronic Filing System (EFS) Web Application page or on paper using the Termination or Resignation Request Form/No-Activity Report Form CF-18.

24-Hour Notice

Must a 24-Hour Notice be filed when a campaign committee receives a transfer from a party or constituted committee?

No, 24-Hour Notices are only required for contributions or loans in excess of $1,000. Transfers are not contributions or loans and a 24-Hour Notice is not required.

Tips on Preparing and Reporting Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports


How do I amend my campaign finance financial disclosure reports?

Effective January 25, 2021, all amendments need to be made through the Electronic Filing System (EFS) Web Application. This includes filings originally created in old desktop versions of EFS.

Anonymous Contributions

Can the committee accept contributions from anonymous sources?

No. If a committee accepts an anonymous contribution, it must be reported as received on the appropriate disclosure report and then remitted to the Office of the State Comptroller, ATTN: Remittance Control, 110 State St., 2nd Fl., Albany, NY, 12236. The memo of the check should indicate "Disposition of Anonymous Contributions Pursuant to E.L. 14-128". The remittance is disclosed under the Expenditures/Payments transaction type.

Bank Fees

Where do I report bank fees?

Bank Fees must be reported under the Expenditures/Payments transaction type. Make sure the fees are reported in the appropriate reporting period.

"Bounced Checks"

How should a contribution that is returned for insufficient funds, (a "bounced" check) be reported?

The receipt of the check is reported using the appropriate transaction type based on contributor which increases the committee's balance. The returned check is then reported on the Contribution Refund transaction type, which decreases the committee's balance.

Cash Contributions

Can the committee accept cash contributions?

Yes, however, cash contributions over $100, in the aggregate for the applicable time period (election cycle for candidate(s); calendar year for party/constituted committees, IE committees and PACs) are not allowed. The excess over the $100 aggregate must be refunded and the refund must be reported. 

Example: Friends of Jane Doe has three $40 fundraisers during her four-year election cycle and receives a $40 cash contribution from individual John Q. Public at each of three fundraisers. The third $40 contribution brings Mr. Public's aggregate contribution to $120 which now exceeds the $100 cash limit. The committee must refund the excess $20 to Mr. Public and report the refund.

Door Prizes

How should we report door prize contributions?

Items contributed by individuals or businesses must be reported as in-kind (non-monetary) contributions. The value of in-kind contributions must be reported at fair market retail value. Aggregate contributions (all contributions from one contributor) greater than $99 must be itemized, reporting the contributor's name, address and any other required details.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs/PLLCs)

How do I report contributions from LLC/PLLCs?

Contributions from LLCs/PLLCs are reported under Monetary Contributions Received from All Other. These contributions must be attributed to the specific member owners in direct proportion to each member's ownership interest.


  • How are loans reported?
    If the committee receives a loan, it is reported using the Loans Received transaction type. If the committee repays a loan (partially or in full), it is reported using the Loan Repayments transaction type. If any or all of an outstanding loan is forgiven, it is reported using the Liabilities/Loans Forgiven transaction type.
  • What loan documentation needs to be submitted to NYSBOE?
    Documentary evidence of the loan (indebtedness) includes the amount, terms and conditions of the loan (via letter or promissory note). Similar documentation is required to be filed when a loan is forgiven. Include the Filer ID on all correspondence. This supporting documentation may be uploaded right into the EFS Web Application.
  • Note: Any outstanding loans as of the date of the primary, general or special election or loans that are forgiven are considered contributions and subject to contribution limits. For more specific information, please consult the Campaign Finance Handbook.

Negative Balance

How do I correct a negative balance?

In order to correct a negative balance, compare publicly-disclosed report(s) with the committee's internal records and make amendments to the report(s) as necessary within the EFS Web Application. The original filing, as well as any subsequently submitted amendments, will be viewable on the NYSBOE's Public Disclosure webpage.

Non-U.S. Contributions

What if the committee receives a contribution from outside the United States?

Only citizens of the United States, or permanent legal residents (green card holders in permanent status) may contribute to your political campaign. If you have received a contribution from someone who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident, you must refund that contribution and report the refund. If the contribution marked as D/Deficient in the review of this filing is actually from a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident living abroad, you do NOT need to refund the contribution but you need to provide NYSBOE with an explanation relative to that person's legal status.

"Other" as a Purpose Code

When do I have to use the "Explanation" field?

If the purpose code "Other" has been used, the field for "Explanation" must be filled in. When you are so advised, amend your report to include that explanation.


  • What do I do if the committee receives an over-contribution?
    Over-contributions must be refunded. All committees have receiving limits. Limits for state level offices are available on the NYSBOE website; and, local committees receiving limits are available from your County Board of Elections. Report the refund of the over-contribution using the Contributions Refunded transaction type.
  • How do I refund a corporate or LLC/PLLC over-contribution?
    If you have accepted more than $5,000 from one corporation or LLC/PLLC in the aggregate in the calendar year, the amount over $5,000 must be refunded to that corporation/LLC/PLLC and the amount refunded reported using the Contributions Refunded transaction type.

PayPal/Venmo/ActBlue/GoFundMe/Online Payment System

How should contributors using PayPal/Venmo/ActBlue/GoFundMe (or another company where the recipient is charged a fee) be reported?

The total contribution is reported using the applicable contribution transaction type, then the fee charged by the online processor would be reported under the Expenditures/Payments transaction type.

Partnerships, LLPs

How do I report contributions from partnerships (including LLPs)?

Partnerships are reported under Monetary Contributions Received from Individuals & Partnerships. Partnership contributions that exceed $2,500 must be attributed to specific partners.

Personal Use

How do I determine if an expenditure was for Personal Use?

Section 14-130 of the Election Law states that contributions received by a candidate or a political committee may be expended for any lawful purpose. Expenses need to be related to the seeking and/or holding of office. Such funds shall not be converted by any person to a personal use which is unrelated to a political campaign or the holding of a public office or party position.

  • Unitemized expenses that are or that total significant amounts, or that are reported on several reports could appear as campaign funds being used for personal use.
  • It is important to detail all the expenditures which encompass a reimbursement. When the reimbursement and related expenses are disclosed properly, it can easily be ascertained which expenses correspond to a particular reimbursement. If the reimbursement detail is not provided or reported properly, it could appear campaign funds are being used for personal use.


How do I refund Raffle contributions?

Per a ruling by the NYS Gaming Commission, political committees are not allowed to conduct raffles. Any monies received through a raffle must be refunded to the participants in the raffle. If the participants are not known, they are deemed anonymous, and as such, any anonymous raffle proceeds must be remitted to the Office of the State Comptroller.

Refunds of Contributions

How do I handle refunds?

Refunds must be reported using the Contributions Refunded transaction type of the committee's next required filing report. Copies of refund checks must be provided to NYSBOE in order to resolve the deficiency within the required 30 days OR, if the Deficiency letter has been received within 30 days of an election, the copy of the refund check must be received within seven days to resolve the deficiency.


How and when do I provide detail on reimbursements?

You must provide detail whenever you reimburse an individual/entity or when a credit card payment is made. When you are reimbursing a person/entity for non-personal services for something she/he purchased for the campaign or reimbursing for a credit card purchase, you must: 1) report the reimbursement and 2) report the specific expenditures that encompass the reimbursement.

Report Balance

Are there any transaction types that do not affect the report balance?

In-Kind Contributions Received, Loan/Liability Forgiveness, Outstanding Loans/Liabilities, Attribution to Partners/LLC Owners, Subcontractor Information, and Expense Allocation Among Candidates do not affect the balance of the report. These transaction types perform a record-keeping function, can serve as a tool for filers and are informational.

Reports on the Web

How do I check my report on the web?

Once you submit a report via the EFS Web Application, there will be a date and time stamp within your filer account confirming the submission. You may also view all submitted reports on the NYSBOE Public Reporting website at

Self-Funded Candidates

Do I have to report if I am a candidate funding my own campaign?

Yes. It is the obligation of the candidate to disclose all of the receipts and expenditures of his/her campaign, including their own money (EL 14-101(1)). Once a candidate exceeds the $1,000 threshold in the aggregate receipts or expenditures for a campaign he or she must begin to file itemized reports commencing with the reporting period when the threshold is crossed. The initial itemized report filed must contain an itemization of all receipts and expenditures.


Can NYSBOE accept copies or facsimiles of signatures on registration or other forms?

No, original signatures are required. Copies of signatures, including those on faxes, PDFs, or other electronic files are not acceptable.


What do I do if my contractor hires a sub?

The EFS Web Application allows the filer to disclose whether an expenditure has been subcontracted and, if applicable, to supply subcontractor information. When a payment is made to a contractor provide details of any subcontractor for a subcontracted amount greater than $10,000 for statewide candidates and $5,000 for all others.


Which committees are eligible to use transfer schedules?

Single Authorized Candidate, Party and Constituted committees may use these transaction types to report a:

  • Type 1 Transfer, which is money between a party or constituted committee and a candidate or candidate's authorized committee, (i.e. "ABC County Party Committee" to "John Doe for Mayor", or vice versa).
  • Type 2 Transfer, which is money between two authorized committees solely supporting the same candidate, (i.e. "Friends of John Doe" to "Citizens for John Doe", or vice versa).

If you have reported transactions as transfers that are neither Type 1 nor Type 2, your report must be amended to remove those entries from the transfer transaction types. Such entries are properly reported on Monetary Contributions from All Other for a contribution coming into the committee or Expenditures/Payments for a contribution that the committee is expending.

Unitemized Contributions

What do I have to report when I receive a contribution?

When a contributor makes a contribution or the aggregation of contributions is $99 or less, it does not need to be itemized with name, address, etc. The contribution can be added together with other unitemized contributions from the same date as one unitemized lump sum transaction. However, contributions from one contributor that exceed $99 by itself, or in the aggregate for that election cycle or calendar year, as applicable, need to be itemized.

Unitemized Expenses

When do I have to itemize expenses?

For single expenditures of more than $49.99, you need to provide the date, name & address of payee, method of payment, amount and purpose code of the expenditure.

After the Election

  • File all required reports;
  • Have a $0 cash balance in the account - no negative balance;
  • Have no outstanding loans/liabilities;
  • Submit any applicable evidence of indebtedness/forgiveness;
  • Request termination with a CF-18 form mailed to NYSBOE;
  • Continue to file until termination is approved.


Campaign Materials

What are the requirements for submitting campaign materials to NYSBOE?

Any filer required to file primary, general and/or special election reports must, at the same time the applicable post-election campaign finance disclosure report is due, submit copies of all the filer's campaign materials, purchased or produced by or under the authority of the person filing the post-election report, or the committee or the person on whose behalf it is filed.

Campaign materials include all broadcast, cable or satellite schedules and scripts, internet, print and other types of advertisements, pamphlets, flyers, brochures, letterheads and other printed matter.

Submissions of campaign materials:

  • Can include duplicate originals (e.g., posters, flyers, buttons, etc.) or legible photocopies;
  • May be photographed when, for practical purposes they cannot be readily reproduced in a paper copy because they are large, unwieldy items (e.g., billboards, sandwich boards, etc.);
  • May be submitted electronically using our Electronic Filing System (EFS) Web Application.


How do I resign as treasurer?

To resign as treasurer, you must:

  • File all required reports;
  • Have no negative balance in reports;
  • Request resignation with a CF-18 form mailed to NYSBOE;
  • Attach a letter of resignation;
  • Inform committee(s) and candidate(s), as applicable;
  • Continue to file until your resignation is approved.

Retain records for five years.

See Winding Down the Campaign for complete details.


How do I terminate my committee?

Retain records for five years.

See Winding Down the Campaign for complete details.

Campaign Financial Disclosure Reporting FAQ (PDF Version)

Campaign Financial Disclosure Reporting FAQ Handout - Updated April 2023 (pdf 174KB)

Questions that are frequently asked by filers of campaign financial disclosure reports are available in this document.