Who Must Report

An out-of-state political committee, including political committees filing with the Federal Election Commission, is required to report when it makes a contribution or other expenditure of more than $50 to or on behalf of a Washington state candidate or political committee. (RCW 42.17A.250)

To file as an out-of-state political committee, all the criteria in (a) and (b) below must be satisfied:

         (a)  Out-of-State.  First, the committee must be located out-of-state. It must be maintaining its office or headquarters in another U.S. state or the District of Columbia, and has no office, street address or corporate registered agent in Washington State.  If there is no office or headquarters in another state or the District of Columbia, and no corporate registered agent in Washington State, the political committee is deemed out-of-state if its treasurer resides in another U.S. state or the District of Columbia.

         (b)  Organizational Purpose and Campaign Activities. Second, the committee must also be currently organized primarily for engaging in campaign activities in another state. The political committee may be described in other states as a political committee, political action committee (PAC), group (Alaska) or similar terms to describe a committee.  Therefore, to qualify as a current out-of-state committee, the committee must also:

         (i)  Be currently registered and actively filing campaign disclosure reports in one or more other states and has been so filing for the preceding two years; and,

         (ii)  Have organizational documents showing it was originally formed and is currently organized for the purpose of making expenditures in another state or soliciting contributions for use in another state’s election campaigns; and,

         (iii)  Have spent less than 20 percent of its aggregate expenditures for all political campaign activity nationwide at any point in any calendar year to support and/or oppose Washington candidates for state, local and judicial office, Washington ballot measures and/or Washington political committees.

         (3)  A committee that does not satisfy the criteria subsection (2) shall file as an in-state committee under RCW 42.17A, including RCW 42.17A.205 – RCW 42.17A.240.

         (4)  Out-of-state political committees reporting under RCW 42.17A.250 are also subject to reporting pursuant to RCW 42.17A.260 (political advertising independent expenditures) and 42.17A.305 through 42.17A.315 (electioneering communications).

If the federal committee is located in Washington state, a C-5 would not be required if it contributes to a state candidate.

When to Report

A C-5 report is due no later than the 10th day of the month following any month in which a contribution or other expenditure of more than $50 is made to or on behalf of a Washington state candidate or political committee. 

After filing an initial C-5 report, subsequent reports during the same calendar year shall be filed updating or amending the information previously reported. These follow-up reports are also due no later than the 10th day of the month following any month in which an additional contribution or other expenditure of more than $50 is made. The C-5 report is considered filed as of the postmark date.