seec: FAQ Secondary Payees

 Frequently Asked Questions on Secondary Payees

During our post-election reviews of the 2014 election cycle, we discovered that the most common error among committees was a failure to disclose secondary payee information.  As a result, we have revised training materials and sent out notices regarding the reporting requirements.  The below FAQs reflect some of the questions we have been receiving.  If you have a question regarding the secondary payee requirements, please contacts us.

{SEEC}  What are secondary payees?  (rev. 8/5/16)

Your committee makes all types of expenditures.  In some instances, you may pay a person or company who in turns pays another person, vendor or entity on behalf of the committee.  Who that first person pays on your behalf is called a secondary payee.  You are required by law to report both the person the committee paid directly (the primary payee), in Section N, “Expenses Paid by Committee” of the SEEC Form 30, and who that person paid on the committee’s behalf (the secondary payee) in Section R, “Itemization of Reimbursements and Secondary Payees.”  This is not double reporting but just further information about what your payment was for.  Section R does not affect your balance.

{SEEC}  My committee has hired ABC Consulting to put together our communications strategy for a $2,000 fee.  ABC Consulting decided to purchase 500 lawn signs from Signs R US LLC to be distributed at a committee event next week.  The signs cost $200 and are included in their $2,000 fee.  Do we have to report the payment to Signs R Us LLC?  (rev. 8/5/16)

Yes, Signs R Us LLC is a secondary payee and the payment must be disclosed.  You report your payment to ABC Consulting in Section N, “Expenses Paid by Committee,” using CNSLT as the purpose of expenditure code.  Then report its payment to Signs R Us LLC in Section R, “Itemization of Reimbursements and Secondary Payees,” using A-SIGN as the purpose of expenditure code.

ABC Consulting is required to provide you with documentation of secondary payments so you are able to complete this disclosure.  Our sample fee arrangement for work or service provides language regarding this requirement for you to use in your contract with a consultant.  We also have a sample reimbursement & secondary payee information sheet for the consultant to provide you when they are seeking reimbursement for something.

{SEEC}  What if ABC Consulting asks the committee to purchase the lawn signs?  (rev. 8/5/16)

If the committee writes the $200 check to Signs R Us LLC, then that gets reported in Section N like the payment to ABC Consulting.  There is no secondary payee in this situation.

{SEEC}  ABC Consulting rents office space and pays monthly utilities for the space.  It also employs a secretary who works on all of the company’s accounts, including my committee’s.  Should I be asking ABC Consulting to provide me with documentation breaking down the costs of a portion of the office space rental, the utilities, and the secretary’s time to my committee? (rev. 8/5/16)

No, these are overhead expenses of the consulting company that it pays irrespective of having your particular account and do not need to get reported as secondary payees

{SEEC}  What if ABC Consulting pays five individuals to do door knocking for us next Saturday?  Are they considered overhead as well or secondary payees? (rev. 8/5/16)

These individuals would be considered secondary payees since they are hired specifically to do work for your campaign.  Each person should be separately itemized in Section R, “Itemization of Reimbursements and Secondary Payees.”

{SEEC}  What if ABC Consulting provides me with an invoice for its services, which includes a $300 payment it made on the committee’s behalf to a secondary payee, but I have not yet paid the invoice by the close of the filing period for which I need to file?  How does all of this information get reported? (rev. 8/5/16)

In this case, you would report the invoice from ABC Consulting as an expense incurred in Section Q, “Expenses Incurred by Committee but Not Paid During the Period,” of the SEEC Form 30.  Since you are aware of the secondary payment, you should note the secondary payee information in the description field for that entry in Section Q.  You do not put it in Section R since Section R is only for clarifying expenditures that have actually been made.  When the committee pays the bill, the payment will get reported in Section N along with the secondary payee information in Section R.

Content Last Modified on 9/18/2017 11:10:36 AM