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Political Financing Handbook for Nomination Contestants and Financial Agents (EC 20182) – December 2018

Note: This handbook is to be used for contests starting on or after December 21, 2018. For earlier contests, please use the 2016 version of the handbook.

11. Reporting

This chapter describes the financial reports that must be completed and submitted by set deadlines under the Canada Elections Act. It covers the following topics:

  • Reporting obligations after the selection date
  • Additional reporting
  • Submitting reports to Elections Canada
  • Requesting a filing deadline extension

For a timeline of all reporting obligations, see Important deadlines for the nomination contestant's campaign in Chapter 1, Reference Tables and Timelines.

Note: Forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

Reporting obligations after the selection date

Reports in this table must be submitted to Elections Canada, unless otherwise noted.

Report Description Who is responsible
3 months after selection date

Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal Expenses
(EC 20175)

Signed, with all supporting documents

The statement lists the contestant's personal expenses that were reasonably incurred in relation to the contest and have not been reimbursed by the campaign.

It must be completed even if the contestant's personal expenses were nil.

Nomination contestant

Submitted to financial agent

4 months after selection dateNote 1

Nomination Contestant's Campaign ReturnNote 2
(EC 20171)

Signed, with all supporting documents

The campaign return includes the following:

  • campaign information and declaration, signed by the contestant and the financial agent
  • contributions and other inflows
  • expenses and other outflows
  • summary and cash reconciliation
Financial agent

Nomination Contestant's Statement of Personal ExpensesNote 2
(EC 20175)

Signed, with all supporting documents

The financial agent must submit the personal expenses statement with the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return.

Financial agent
Auditors reportNote 3 After the financial agent has completed the campaign return, the auditor has to examine the financial records and give an opinion in a report as to whether the campaign return presents fairly the information contained in the financial records on which it is based. Financial agent

Note 1 If the selection date falls within an election period or within 30 days before it, the deadline is four months after election day.

Note 2 Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $1,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $1,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).

Note 3 Required if the campaign accepted contributions totalling $10,000 or more, or incurred nomination campaign expenses totalling $10,000 or more (note that transfers to affiliated political entities are not nomination campaign expenses).

It is very important to give the auditor enough time to properly audit the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return before the deadline.

Additional reporting

In some cases, reporting obligations continue well past the selection date. The campaign might still have unpaid claims or loans, or need to correct an error in the contestant's return. The following table summarizes these additional reporting requirements.

Note: If the selection date falls with an election period or within 30 days before it, a reference to the selection date in the table below is to be read as election day.

Report Description Deadline Who is responsible
Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return (EC 20171)
Corrected or revised, as requested by the nomination contestant or financial agent The contestant or the financial agent may become aware of a need to make a correction or report new transactions in a return that has been filed. In that case, the contestant or the financial agent has to submit a written request for authorization to file a corrected or revised return. 30 days after the correction or revision was authorized Nomination contestant or financial agent
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada On review, Elections Canada may request the financial agent to correct or revise the campaign return. In that case, the financial agent must submit the corrected or revised campaign return within the specified period. Within a period specified by Elections Canada Financial agent
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan The financial agent must send an updated Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return within 30 days after the final payment. 30 days after a claim or loan is paid* Financial agent
Nomination Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After the Selection Date (EC 20001)
Statement as of 18 months after the selection date This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 18 months after the selection date. 19 months after selection date Financial agent
Statement as of 36 months after the selection date This statement is required if the campaign still has unpaid claims and loans 36 months after the selection date. 37 months after selection date Financial agent

*Claims and loans should be paid within 36 months after the selection date. Authorization is required from Elections Canada or a judge to pay claims or loans more than 36 months after the selection date.

Submitting reports to Elections Canada

Financial forms and instructions are available on the Elections Canada website.

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.

Note: Using EFR to complete or update the Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return makes reporting much easier because EFR validates the entries and creates a submission file with the required fields populated.

How to submit reports to Elections Canada
Process
  1. Sign the pages requiring signature.
  2. Send the reports to Elections Canada by email (in PDF format), courier, mail or fax.
  3. Send supporting documentation to Elections Canada by email, courier or mail.

If you used EFR: Send the submission file created by the system (in ZIP format) and a copy of the pages requiring signature (in PDF format) by email.
Email 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

Notes

  • Documents submitted to Elections Canada have to be signed.
  • It is recommended that the campaign keep a copy of all documents submitted.
  • For details about EFR, please consult the EFR User Guide, available in the EFR software.

Requesting a filing deadline extension

Reports eligible for an extension

The Canada Elections Act specifies deadlines for submitting reports. The financial agent or the nomination contestant may apply for an extension if they cannot submit a report on time.

If only a few invoices or receipts are missing, campaigns should submit the mandatory documents on time and send the missing documentation later.

The following table explains which documents are eligible for an extension and from whom.

Nomination contestant reports—extension requests
Report Extension from Elections Canada Additional extension from Elections Canada Extension from a judge
Nomination Contestant's Campaign Return
Original submission, including the auditor's report and the contestant's statement of personal expenses Yes No Yes
Corrected or revised, as requested by the nomination contestant or the financial agent Yes Yes No
Corrected or revised, as requested by Elections Canada No No No*
Updated after the final payment of a claim or loan at any time after the selection date Yes No Yes
Nomination Contestant's Statement of Unpaid Claims and Loans 18 or 36 Months After the Selection Date
Statement as of 18 months after the selection date Yes No Yes
Statement as of 36 months after the selection date Yes No Yes

*Corrections or revisions requested by Elections Canada are not eligible for extensions and must be filed within the specified period. However, the financial agent or the nomination contestant can apply to a judge to be relieved of the obligation of complying with the request.

Submitting a request for an extension

To apply for an extension, the financial agent or the nomination contestant has to send the Request for Extension of Filing Deadline form. It must be received by Elections Canada within two weeks after the filing deadline.

Note: Only a judge may grant an extension requested more than two weeks after the deadline has passed.

Elections Canada will grant an extension unless the financial agent's failure to provide the document was deliberate or was the result of a failure to exercise due diligence.

If Elections Canada refuses to authorize an extension or if the financial agent or nomination contestant is unable to file the required documents within the extended period, the nomination contestant or the financial agent may apply to a judge for an extension.