What Are the Rules for Donating to Political Campaigns?

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Know the Right Way to Help Your Favorite Candidates

With the 2020 political scene ramping up, there is one thing that each party tracks closely — campaign funding. Government watchdogs are political organizations that keep a close eye on where the finances are going, and where they are coming from. Others who are keeping a watchful eye on their favorite candidates are the campaign donors. Whether you’re wanting to contribute to a favorite candidate or your corporation backs a particular party, it’s good to know a few basics before writing that check.

Basic Rules for Individuals

When it comes to donating before the election, one of the main questions raised is what are the caps for donations for individuals? The Federal Election Commission or FEC reports that the max amount for a candidate committee is $2,800 and for additional national party committee accounts it’s $106,500 per account per year.

Whether individuals want to donate to a presidential campaign or another political group in the house or senate, it’s always safe to make a contribution under $200 that doesn’t have to be recorded or filed with the IRS.

Contacting the party directly and requesting to make a donation is a safe place to start. Their office committee can handle donations and produce the correct receipts required to claim tax exemptions at the end of the fiscal year.

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What About Corporations?

Many corporations wish to back a certain party in exchange for recognition in the form of affiliation or sometimes advertising. They may get involved with political action committees (PACs) or 527 groups.

It’s prohibited to fund a political party directly, so it has to be done with their general treasury funds. An alternative is to finance a political committee’s independent expenditures or Super PACs in the form of separate segregated funds, or SSFs.

The only way corporations can contribute directly is to do it individually, otherwise, the PAC takes all of the contributions and donates up to $5,000 to a political candidate per election.

Campaign Finance Reform in the News

With Oregon being one of only five states with no caps on campaign finance contributions, it’s no surprise it’s in the spotlight after legislation moves ahead to bring it to a halt. Backers are hoping it will be on the docket for the 2020 elections, where voters can decide to cap off donations to various political campaigns. Left the way it is, it’s another way for millionaire influencers to sway or enhance the election.

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Most citizens know where they want their donations to go to, but for bigger donations or multiple donations through different PACs, reach out to the organization for specific rules. Getting a financial advisor involved to handle the funds is also a safe and effective option.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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