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Political Financing Handbook for Electoral District Associations and Financial Agents (EC 20089) – June 2015

This document is the DRAFT version of Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2015-02

Tables and Reminders

The tables and reminders in this section are quick reference tools for the use of electoral district associations (EDAs) and their financial agents.

The section contains the following:

Contributions, loans and loan guarantees limits

Limits on Contributions, Loans and Loan Guarantees
Political entity 2015 annual limit Limit per election called between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2015
To each registered party $1,500* n/a
In total to all the registered associations, nomination contestants and candidates of each registered party $1,500* n/a
In total to all leadership contestants in a particular contest $1,500* n/a
To each independent candidate n/a $1,500*

Notes:

  • The contribution limits apply to: total contributions, the unpaid balance of loans made during the contribution period and the amount of any loan guarantees made during the contribution period that an individual is still liable for. The sum of these three amounts cannot at any time exceed the contribution limit.
  • A nomination contestant is permitted to give an additional $1,000 in total per contest in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her own campaign.
  • A candidate is permitted to give a total of $5,000 in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her campaign.
  • A candidate is also permitted to give an additional $1,500 in total per year in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to other candidates, registered associations and nomination contestants of each party. (This includes contributions to the registered association in the candidate's electoral district and contributions to the candidate's own nomination campaign.)
  • A leadership contestant is permitted to give a total of $25,000 in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to his or her campaign.
  • A leadership contestant is also permitted to give an additional $1,500 in total per year in contributions, loans and loan guarantees to other leadership contestants.

* The limits will increase by $25 on January 1st in each subsequent year.

Transfers – types and rules

This table shows the allowable monetary and non-monetary transfers between related registered political entities.

FROM TO
Nomination Contestant Leadership Contestant Candidate Registered Electoral District Association Registered Party
Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary Monetary Non- monetary
Nomination Contestant No No No No Yes1 No Yes2 No Yes No
Leadership Contestant No No No No No No Yes No Yes No
Candidate Yes3 Yes3 No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registered Electoral District Association No Yes4 No Yes4 Yes7 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Registered Party No Yes4 No5 Yes4 Yes7 Yes Yes6 Yes6 N/A N/A

1 A nomination contestant may transfer funds (but not property or services) to a candidate of the same party in the electoral district in which the nomination contest was held.

2 A nomination contestant can only transfer funds to the registered electoral district association that held the nomination contest.

3 Candidates may transfer property, services and funds to their own nomination contestant campaign for the same election.

4 Non-monetary transfers must be offered equally to all contestants.

5 Directed contributions are the only exception: they may be transferred to the leadership contestant.

6 Registered parties may transfer property, services and funds to electoral district associations, whether registered or not.

7 Monetary transfers other than trust funds are allowed. After election day, monetary transfers are allowed only to pay claims and loans related to the candidate's campaign.

Note: Independent candidates may not send or accept transfers of funds, property or services to or from other political entities.

Reporting requirements for registered electoral district associations

Reporting requirements for registered electoral district associations
Text version of "Reporting requirements for registered electoral district associations" diagram

* If the date falls within an election period, the deadline is July 31.

** An auditor's report is required if the electoral district association accepted contributions totalling $5,000 or more, or incurred expenses totalling $5,000 or more. Note: transfers to affiliated political entities are not expenses.

Important reminders for registered associations, financial agents and electoral district agents

DO DON'T
  • Appoint a financial agent, who is involved in all budgeting and financial decisions of the registered association.
  • Appoint an auditor who is accredited under provincial law to perform accounting services (CPA, CA, CGA, CMA).
  • Ensure that only the financial agent or authorized electoral district agents accept contributions.
  • Ensure that only the financial agent or authorized electoral district agents incur or pay expenses.
  • Ensure that only the financial agent accepts or makes transfers on behalf of the association.
  • Issue receipts for each contribution over $20.
  • For any expense of $50 and over, keep the original invoice and proof of payment. For any expense of less than $50, keep proof of payment plus a record of the nature of the expense.
  • Ensure unpaid claims are paid within 36 months after the payment is due. After that, an authorization from Elections Canada or a judge will be required for late payments.
  • Report net contributions received from ticketed fundraising events (ticket price less the fair market value of the benefit received by each attendee).
  • Report monetary and non-monetary transfers received or sent to other political entities.
  • In the Statement of Registered Association Assets and Liabilities ensure that the "Opening balance" under the "Net assets" is equal to the "Ending balance" from the previous fiscal period.
  • Report all changes in your registry information within 30 days of the change.
  • Submit the Annual Statement of Registry Information by May 31 each year. If a federal election is in progress in your electoral district on that date, the deadline is July 31.
  • Submit the Registered Association Financial Transactions Return by May 31 each year.
  • Allow the auditor sufficient time before the submission deadline to review the financial documents and prepare the audit report (auditor's report is required if contributions or expenses, not including transfers to affiliated political entities, total $5,000 or more).
  • Ensure that the current financial agent signs the declaration on the financial return and that the agent has been listed as the financial agent on record with Elections Canada.
  • Submit the Contributions to a Registered Party or to a Registered Association – Information Return to the Canada Revenue Agency by May 31 each year.
  • Submit a Nomination Contest Report within 30 days of the contest selection date for any contest held by the registered association.
  • Do not transmit election advertising or incur expenses for election advertising that would be transmitted during the election period.
  • Do not incur electoral campaign expenses on behalf of a candidate without the written authorization of the candidate's official agent.
  • Do not accept contributions:
    • from any source other than an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada
    • that exceed an individual's contribution limits
    • in cash that exceeds $20
  • Do not accept loans or loan guarantees from any source other than a financial institution, the registered party, a registered association of the registered party, or an individual who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada.
  • Do not accept a loan or loan guarantee from an individual if it exceeds the individual's contribution limit.
  • Do not issue official income tax receipts unless the financial agent has been authorized to do so in writing by the leader of the registered party.
  • Do not issue official income tax receipts for non-monetary contributions.
  • Do not transfer funds to candidates after election day except to pay a claim related to the candidate's campaign.
  • Do not transfer funds to leadership or nomination contestants.
  • Do not provide property or services to leadership or nomination contestants unless they are offered equally to all contestants in a particular contest.