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1.  Any organization or entity that accepts contributions, makes expenditures, or incurs debts in excess of $1000 to advocate for or against candidate or for or against the passage of a ballot issue is defined as a PAC (68A.102(18) and 68A.402(6)). 

2.  An entity that meets the financial filing threshold of $1000 must organize and register as a PAC by filing a Statement of Organization with the Ethics Board within 10 days of crossing the threshold (68A.201 and rules 351-4.1 through 4.6).  Any subsequent changes in the information disclosed on a Statement of Organization must be disclosed by filing an amended Statement within 30 days of the date of the change (68A.201(3)).    

3.  A PAC that uses an abbreviation or acronym as part of its committee name shall provide a written explanation of the full word or words that are abbreviated or form the acronym (rule 351-4.2).  The PAC name may not substantially duplicate the name of an already registered committee (68A.201(2)"a" and rule 351-4.2). 

4.  PACs must appoint both a chair and treasurer, each of who shall be at least 18 years of age (68A.203(1) and IECDB Advisory Opinion 2000-36). 

5. A PAC must either have an Iowa resident as the treasurer or maintain all of the PAC's funds in bank accounts in a financial institution located in Iowa (68A.203(1)). 

6.  PAC expenditures must be remitted to the designated recipient within 15 days of the date of the issuance of the payment (68A.203(1)). 

7.  Contributions to a PAC must be submitted to the PAC within 15 days of the date of the check (68A.203(2)).  This includes contributions from other PACs.     

8.  The PAC treasurer must deposit all contributions within 7 days of receipt (68A.203(2)). 

            9.  All PAC funds must be segregated from any other funds of the committee or any officers of the committee (68A.203(2)).  However, a permanent organization that temporarily engages in activities that qualifies it as a PAC under 68A.6 that only makes expenditures from its existing general operating funds is not required to open a separate account (68A.203(2)). 

            10.  PAC treasurers must keep a detailed and exact account of the following (68A.203(3): 

1.  All contributions and expenditures. 

2.  The name and mailing address of every person making contributions to the PAC in excess of $25 (including the date and amount of the contribution).  

3.  The name and mailing address of every person to whom expenditures are made (including the purpose of the expenditure and the date and amount). 

11.  PAC treasurers must preserve all campaign records for a period of 5 years.  However, a committee is not required to keep records for more than 3 years from the certified date of the dissolution of the committee (68A.203(4)). 

12.  Once a PAC has been organized and registered, it must file campaign disclosure reports.  PACs involved with elections at the state level are required to file campaign disclosure reports with the Ethics Board.  Commencing January 1, 2003, PACs that are involved with elections at the local level will file their reports with the Ethics Board (68A.401 as amended by 2002 Iowa Acts, HF 2538).   

13.  Even if a PAC has not made expenditures or taken in contributions during a reporting period, the PAC must at least file a DR-2 campaign disclosure summary page on or before the required due date (rule 351-4.7). 

14.  State and county PACs file their reports as follows (68A.402 and rule 351-4.9(9)):

Election year

Report Due 

Period Covered

May 19

January 1 through May 14

July 19 

May 15 through July 14

October 19

July 15 through October 14

January 19

October 15 through December 31

Non Election year - State PACs

July 19 January 1 through June 30
January 19 July 1 through December 31

Non Election year -County PACs

January 19 January 1 through December 31


15.  PACs involved with municipal, school, and local ballot issues file as follows (68A.402 and rule 351-4.9(7)):


  Report Due

Period Covered

5 days prior to election

Date of initial activity/last report through 10 days before election

May 19 Date of initial financial activity or previous report through May 14
July 19 Date of initial financial activity or previous report through July 14
October 19 Date of initial financial activity or previous report through October 14

January 19 (next calendar year)

Previous report through December 31


Report Due

Period Covered

January 19 (next calendar year)

January 1 through December 31 of non-election year


16.  If the reporting due date falls on a weekend or holiday that the Ethics Board is closed, the reporting due date is extended to the next working day following (rule 351-4.10(2)). 

17.  It is crucial that disclosure reports are filed on or before the due date as automatic civil penalties are imposed for late-filed reports (351-Chapter 6).  If a report is not filed after a delinquency notice is sent by the Ethics Board, a contested case will be set and more severe sanctions may be imposed.  Under the law, PAC chairs are responsible for filing reports and are subject to liability for failing to do so (68B.32A(7)). 

18.  PACs must disclose all PAC campaign activities (68A.402 and rules 351-4.14 through 4.19).  Effective July 1, 2005, PACs hiring a consultant will file Schedule G. PACs specifically do not have to account for campaign property (thus do not have to file Schedule H).  

19.  PACs must disclose the name and address of all contributors who give in excess of $25 in a calendar year (68A.402 and rule 351-4.14).  PACs that receive dues payments from payroll deductions must be very careful in making sure that proper disclosures are made and should contact the Ethics Board for assistance. 

20.  PACs must disclose candidate ID numbers and the PAC check number on the disclosure report when making contributions to statewide and general assembly candidates (rule 351-4.15(5)).  A list of candidate ID numbers is available from the Ethics Board or on the Board's Web site by clicking on the Candidate/PAC/Lobbyist/Address List. 

21.  State PACs must attach a reconciled bank statement with the January disclosure report or as soon as the statement is available (rule 351-4.21) if requested.  The bank statement must reflect all activities for the previous calendar year and must include a reconciliation statement to justify any outstanding checks or other discrepancies between the bank statement and the PAC report. 

22.  A PAC that is no longer accepting contributions or making expenditures may dissolve by expending all PAC funds, transferring or paying all debts, and filing a DR-3 Notice of Dissolution (68A.402(5) and rules 4.54 through 4.57).  Until a Notice of Dissolution is filed, the PAC must continue filing disclosure reports on or before the appropriate due date. 

23.  PAC political mailings and advertisements must contain the words "paid for by" along with the name of the PAC (68A.405 and rules 351-4.38 through 4.43).  If the mailing contains numerous pages, the attribution only needs to appear on one page (rule 351-4.414).  Both the statute and the rules exempt small items or items where printing the statement would be impracticable (pencils, political business cards, clothing).  Also, yard signs (16 square feet or smaller) are not subject to the requirement (see rule 351-4.39 for additional information concerning yard signs versus outdoor advertising). 

            24.  Remember that PAC expenses are not the same as lobbying expenses.  PAC expenses are reported under Iowa Code chapter 68A and lobbying expenses are reported under Iowa Code chapter 68B.  Unless lobbying expenses come out of PAC funds, lobbying expenses are not disclosed by the PAC.  Also, a lobbyist does not need to report any campaign contributions made by a PAC.  Rather, the lobbyist reports contributions made to candidates for state office by the lobbyist. 

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