What is a Political Action Committee (PAC)?
Political action committee means an entity, or any group of individuals or entities within or outside this state, a major purpose of which is to:
- Solicit or receive contributions from any other person, group, or entity for political purposes;
- Make expenditures to expressly advocate for any person to refrain from voting or to vote for or against any candidate for a municipal or county office.
A political action committee includes: “groups affiliated with a registered political party but not authorized or organized by the governing board of the registered political party that receive contributions or makes expenditures for political purposes.”
Political action committee does not mean:
- A party committee;
- Any entity that provides goods or services to a candidate or committee in the regular course of its business at the same price that would be provided to the general public;
- An individual;
- Individuals who are related and who make contributions from a joint checking account;
- A corporation, except a corporation a major purpose of which is to act as a political action committee; or
- A personal campaign committee.
To view Political Action Committee disclosures, click here.
Any PAC that makes expenditures totaling at least $750 or receives contributions of at least $750 in a calendar year is required to file a financial disclosure report with the Lt. Governor's Office; after reaching one of these thresholds, a PAC is required to file all subsequent reports if it makes any expenditures or receives any contributions within the calendar year.
A PAC does not need to file a report if it received no contributions and made no expenditures during the reporting period.
There are no laws that restrict the amount of money PICs can spend or receive in Utah, with the exception of anonymous donations.
PACs may not expend a contribution if:
- It is cash or a negotiable instrument;
- Exceeds $50; and
- Is from an unknown source.
Within 31 days after receiving a contribution that that exceeds $50 and is from an unknown source, a PAC shall disburse the amount of the contribution to:
- the treasurer of the state of a political subdivision for deposit into the state's or political subdivision's general fund; or
- an organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code.
Financial Disclosure Report Deadlines
|Type of Report||Due Date||What the report includes||Penalty for failure to file report by due date*|
|Convention||7 days before the party convention in even numbered years||Expenditures and contributions as of 5 days before the due date.||
|Primary||7 days before the primary election in even numbered years||Expenditures and contributions since the last report as of 5 days before the due date.||$100 fine|
|September 30th||September 30 of every year||Expenditures and contributions since the last report as of 5 days before the due date.||$100 fine|
|General||7 days before the general election of every year||Expenditures and contributions since the last report as of 5 days before the due date.||$100 fine|
|Year End||January 10 of every year||All expenditures and contributions since the last report through December 31st.||$100 fine|
A PAC must report each contribution within 31 days of receiving it (Utah Code 20A-11-602).
*The deadline to pay a fine to the Lt. Governor's Office is 30 days after the day on which the fine is imposed.
A PAC must submit an updated Statement of Organization by January 10 of each year until the PAC files a Statement of Dissolution.
Information PACs Must Report (Utah Code 20A-11-602)
PACs must report each contribution within 31 days of the contribution being received.
In addition to the date and amount of the contribution, political action committees are required to disclose the following information for those individuals or groups who make contributions to the PAC:
- The name and address of any individual or source making the contribution;
- The identification of any publicly identified class of individuals that makes a contribution
- The name and address of any political action committee, group, or entity
- Contributions received by a political action committee that have a value of $50 or less need not be reported individually, but may be listed on the report as an aggregate total. However, two or more contributions from the same source that have an aggregate total of more than $50 may not be reported in the aggregate, but shall be reported separately.
Any PAC that makes expenditures totaling at least $750 in a calendar year is required to file financial disclosure reports with the Lt. Governor's Office.
When a PAC reports an expenditure, it should include the:
- Date and amount of the expenditure;
- The person or entity to whom it was ultimately disbursed; and
- Specific purpose, item, or service acquired by the expenditure.
Non-monetary/In-Kind Contributions or Expenditures
The PAC must report the fair market value of each non-monetary contribution or expenditure that it receives or makes.
All reports must be submitted electronically via the website disclosures.utah.gov.
Any political action committee that fails to file its financial disclosure reports may be guilty of a class B misdemeanor and may be subject to a fine of $100. The Lt. Governor is required to report those who fail to file to the Attorney General.Federal Political Action Committees
State law does not prohibit federal PACs from donating money to state PACs, PICs, political parties, or candidates. Federal PACs making political expenditures in Utah are required to comply with Utah's financial disclosure laws.