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Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents (EC 20155) – June 2016

This document is Elections Canada's guideline: OGI 2016-05

Click on the link for the latest Political Financing Handbook for Candidates and Official Agents.

Chapter 4Reporting Requirements

This chapter covers the following topics:

Introduction

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
  • All unused and copies of used official tax receipts, if applicable*
Elections Canada
3 months after election day Candidate
  • Signed Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses, with all supporting documents
Official agent
4 months after election day Official agent
  • Contributions to a Candidate at an Election Information Return
Canada Revenue Agency
4 months after election day Official agent
  • Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return and all supporting documents, including the declaration signed by the candidate and the official agent
  • Signed Candidate's Statement of Personal Expenses, with all supporting documents
  • Auditor's Report
  • Auditor's Invoice
  • Checklist for Audits
Elections Canada
4 months after election day Candidate
  • Candidate's Statement of Gifts or Other Advantages Received, if applicable
Elections Canada
30 days after a claim or loan is paid** Official agent
  • Updated Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return
Elections Canada
19 months after election day Official agent
  • Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day***
Elections Canada
37 months after election day Official agent
  • Candidate's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After Election Day***
Elections Canada

*Applies to paper-form tax receipts obtained from Elections Canada. Does not apply to tax receipts prepared using the Electronic Financial Return (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, 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:

Along with the Candidate's Electoral Campaign Return, the official agent has to provide 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:

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.

Auditor's Report

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:

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 statement has to include the following information about unpaid claims and loans:

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
Paper forms
  1. Sign the paper copy of the reports.
  2. Send the reports by courier, mail, fax or e-mail (in PDF format) to Elections Canada.
  3. Send the originals of all supporting documentation to Elections Canada by courier or mail.
EFR
  1. EFR creates a submission file of the return.
  2. Send the submission file as an attachment in an e-mail to Elections Canada.
  3. Print the pages requiring signatures and send them by courier, mail, fax or e-mail (in PDF format) to Elections Canada.
  4. Send the originals of all supporting documentation to Elections Canada by courier or mail.

Notes:

  • Always keep copies for your records.
  • For details about EFR submissions, please consult the EFR User Guide, available in the EFR software.

Where to send documents

E-mail:
efr-rfe@elections.ca

Mail:
Elections Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0M6

Fax:
Political Financing
1-888-523-9333 (toll-free)
1-819-939-1803

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.

Candidate reports – extension requests
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.

Court extension

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:

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.