Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – December 2014
This document is the DRAFT version of Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2014-03.
Chapter 4 – Reporting Requirements
This chapter covers the following topics:
- 4.1 Reporting timeline
- 4.2 Mandatory documents and supporting documentation
- 4.3 Submission to Elections Canada
The responsibilities of the candidate and his or her official agent do not end on election day. There are financial reports to be completed and filed with Elections Canada. This chapter outlines what they are, when they need to be filed and the supporting documentation that has to accompany each report.
Note: Elections Canada has developed free software to assist with the preparation of financial returns: the Electronic Financial Return (EFR) software. The EFR software is downloadable from the Elections Canada website.
4.1 Reporting timeline
The Canada Elections Act requires certain financial reports to be completed and submitted by set deadlines. Financial forms are available on the Elections Canada website.
|Deadline||Who is responsible||Mandatory documents||Submit to whom|
|1 month after election day||Official agent||
|3 months after election day||Candidate||
|4 months after election day||Official agent||
||Canada Revenue Agency|
|4 months after election day||Official agent||
|4 months after election day||Candidate|| ||Elections Canada|
|30 days after a claim or loan is paid**||Official agent||
|19 months after election day||Candidate||
|37 months after election day||Candidate||
*Applies to paper-form tax receipts obtained from Elections Canada. Does not apply to tax receipts prepared using the Electronic Financial Returns (EFR) software.
**Authorization is required from Elections Canada to pay claims or loans more than 36 months after election day.
***Required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.
Returning tax receipts
If the candidate received paper-form tax receipts at the beginning of the campaign from Elections Canada, the official agent has to return all unused and cancelled tax receipts as well as a copy of each used receipt to Elections Canada within one month after election day. If the official agent does not return the unused receipts on time and accounts for all issued receipts, the $1,000 nomination deposit will be forfeited.
Note: The official agent can use the EFR software to print tax receipts. If the official agent did not obtain paper-form tax receipts from Elections Canada and used EFR to print tax receipts, the requirement to return unused tax receipts does not apply. For more information, see section 5.1, Distribution of funds administered by Elections Canada.
4.2 Mandatory documents and supporting documentation
Documents to be filed within four months after election day
The Canada Elections Act requires the following documents to be filed within four months after election day:
- the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return, with supporting documents
- the Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses
- the Auditor's Report, including the Checklist for Audits and the auditor's invoice
The Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return, the Auditor's Report and the Checklist for Audits have to be in transit to Elections Canada on or before the filing deadline.
Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return
The Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return covers the following:
- Campaign information and declaration
- election event information
- administrative information about the candidate and the official agent
- declaration about the completeness and accuracy of the return, signed by the candidate and the official agent
- Inflows of cash, property and services
- Outflows of cash, property or services
- Summary and cash reconciliation
Along with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return, the official agent has to provide supporting documents:
- invoices and receipts
- bank statements
- deposit slips
- cancelled cheques
- third party invoices
- loan agreements and repayment schedules
- contribution receipts and copies of cheques from contributors
- contracts or salary agreements
- rental agreements
- mileage logs
- any other supporting documents
Note: After the candidate's return has been submitted, Elections Canada may contact the official agent to request additional supporting documents during the review of the candidate's return.
Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses
The candidate is responsible for the Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses. The candidate has to complete this statement and submit it to the official agent within three months after election day. The official agent must then submit the statement to Elections Canada within four months after election day, together with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return.
The statement lists the candidate's personal expenses that were reasonably incurred in relation to his or her campaign and have not been reimbursed by the campaign. It must be completed even if the candidate's personal expenses were nil.
The candidate has to report:
- travel and living expenses
- child care expenses
- expenses related to the provision of care for a person with a physical or mental incapacity for whom the candidate normally provides such care
- in the case of a candidate who has a disability, additional personal expenses that are related to the disability
- expenses incurred to pay candidate's representatives, or poll agents, at a polling station, or at the office of a returning officer
- other personal expenses – that is, all personal expenses other than those in the preceding categories
For details on the personal expense categories, see section 3.3, Candidate's personal expenses.
Along with the Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses, the candidate has to submit proof of payment for all personal expenses, as well as supporting invoices for personal expenses of $50 or more.
The Auditor's Report has to accompany the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return. The official agent is responsible for ensuring that this report is completed and submitted to Elections Canada within four months after election day.
After the official agent has completed the candidate's return, the auditor verifies that the information in the return accurately presents the information in the financial records kept by the official agent during the campaign. The Auditor's Report contains the auditor's opinion as to whether the completed Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return presents this information.
It is very important for the official agent to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return before the deadline. Therefore it is advised to give the complete candidate's return to the auditor well before the deadline for submission, which is four months after election day.
Along with the Auditor's Report, the auditor also has to provide the Checklist for Audits and the auditor's invoice. The Checklist for Audits is a form found on the Elections Canada website.
The Canada Elections Act provides for a subsidy for the auditor's fee. For details, see Auditor's subsidy under section 5.1.
Candidate's Statement of Gifts or Other Advantages Received
The candidate has to submit the Candidate's Statement of Gifts or Other Advantages Received if the candidate received a gift or other advantage that provided a benefit to the candidate exceeding $500. If a donor gave more than one gift or other advantage, all gifts or advantages from that donor must be reported if the total benefit exceeds $500.
This document is confidential, except if required for enforcement purposes. The candidate must send it directly to Elections Canada within four months after election day.
In the statement, the candidate has to report:
- the nature of each gift or other advantage
- the commercial value and cost, if any, to the candidate
- the name and address of the person or entity giving the gift or other advantage
- the circumstances under which the gift or other advantage was given
For more details, see Section 2.6, Gifts and other advantages.
Reporting payment of claims or loans
If the candidate's campaign has unpaid claims or loans, updates are required on the status of payments.
Update after final payment of claim or loan within 36 months after election day
If a claim or loan is paid in full within 36 months after election day, the official agent must send an updated candidate's return to Elections Canada within
30 days after the final payment was made.
Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months after Election Day
The Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months after Election Day is required if the campaign has unpaid claims and loans.
- The first update is due 19 months after election day, and covers unpaid claims and loans as of 18 months after election day.
- The second update is due 37 months after election day, and covers unpaid claims and loans as of 36 months after election day.
The statement has to include the following information about unpaid claims and loans:
- any disputed amounts and what steps have been taken to resolve the dispute
- any amounts that are the subject of legal proceedings
- whether the parties have agreed on a repayment schedule and if so whether repayments are being made according to the schedule
- whether unpaid amounts have been written off by the creditor as an uncollectible debt in accordance with the creditor's normal accounting practices
- any other relevant information that could explain why the amounts are unpaid
Note: Elections Canada's authorization is not required to pay a claim or loan within
36 months after election day.
Update after final payment of claim or loan more than 36 months after election day
If a claim or loan is still unpaid 36 months after election day, the official agent has to seek authorization from Elections Canada or a judge before paying it.
After paying a claim or loan, the official agent must send an updated candidate's return to Elections Canada within 30 days after the payment was made.
For more details on unpaid claims and loans, see Section 5.2, Managing unpaid claims and loans.
4.3 Submission to Elections Canada
The candidate's return may be completed and submitted in a number of ways.
|Completed how||How to submit|
Note: For more information on EFR submissions, please consult the EFR User Guide, available within the EFR software.
Where to send documents
30 Victoria Street
1-888-523-9333 (toll free)
With the submission, please remember to give your name, role (official agent), electoral district and political affiliation, if applicable. It is recommended to keep a copy of all documents submitted to Elections Canada. Documents filed with Elections Canada have to be signed.
Filing deadline and extensions
The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The official agent or the candidate must seek authorization from Elections Canada or a judge to file after the deadline.
It is important to note that the mandatory documents must be submitted by the filing deadline. If only a few invoices or receipts are missing, it is recommended to submit the mandatory documents on time and send the missing documentation later.
If the official agent or the candidate cannot submit a report by the deadline, the official agent or the candidate may apply to Elections Canada for authorization to submit the document within an extended period. The request has to be received by Elections Canada within two weeks after the report's deadline.
The following table explains which documents are eligible for extension under the Canada Elections Act.
|Document to submit||Extension from Elections Canada||Additional extension from Elections Canada||Extension from a judge|
|Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return||Yes||No||Yes|
|Updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return after a final payment of claim or loan within 36 months after election day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return after a payment of claim or loan later than 36 months after election day||Yes||No||Yes|
|Corrected or revised Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return requested by the candidate or the official agent||Yes||Yes||No|
|Corrected or revised Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return requested by Elections Canada||No||No||No|
The Request for Extension of Filing Deadline form should be used to apply for an extension. Elections Canada will grant an extension unless the official agent's failure to provide the document was deliberate or was the result of a failure to exercise due diligence.
Note: It is in the campaign's interest to submit the candidate's return early. The earlier Elections Canada receives the completed return, the faster it can complete the review process and authorize a reimbursement, if applicable.
Documents not eligible for extension
Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the official agent or the candidate can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.
If Elections Canada refuses to authorize an extension or the official agent or the candidate is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the official agent or the candidate may apply to a judge for an extension. Note that court extensions are not available for corrected or revised returns.
For more details on filing an amended return, see Section 5.3 Filing an amended candidate's return.
Consequences of late filing
If the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return and all mandatory documents are not submitted by the deadline, the consequences are as follows:
- the election expense reimbursement is forfeited
- the nomination deposit refund is not issued until the return and all mandatory documents are submitted
- the candidate is unable to participate in future federal elections
In order to become eligible for the election expense reimbursement and to participate in future federal elections, a filing extension granted by a judge would be required.
Note: If the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return, the Auditor's Report and the Checklist for Audits are not submitted to Elections Canada, the Canada Elections Act provides that a Member of Parliament shall not continue to sit or vote as a member until the documents are submitted or an extension is granted.