September 20, 2019

If you file reports for a campaign, you may have seen the "Credit Card Debt" option in the ORCA filing software. Most campaigns should never use this feature. The credit card debt function should only be used if the campaign has its own credit card, issued by the bank just for that election campaign or political committee.

If someone uses their own credit card to buy something for the campaign, here’s how to enter that:  If the campaign reimburses the person who bought it within 21 days, enter the payment to the buyer as a campaign expenditure. Enter the name of the person getting the reimbursement as the vendor name, and then enter what was purchased and the name and address of where it was purchased in the description of the expenditure. Please see our earlier filer tip as a guide on what to report about an expenditure.

If the campaign can’t reimburse the person within 21 days, but may do it later, enter that as an in-kind loan by that person to the campaign. In the description of the loan, say what was purchased and the name and address of the business where they bought it. When the campaign pays back some or all of the loan, enter that as a payment on that loan. If the campaign ends up not paying back all of the loan, the lender may forgive some or all of the price later. Go back to the screen where you entered the loan and enter that amount as forgiven.

If someone buys something for the campaign and doesn’t expect to be paid back, enter that as an in-kind contribution to the campaign. In the description of the contribution, report exactly what was donated and the name and the address of the business where they bought it.