Federal Contribution Limits Increased for 2021-2022 Election Cycle

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The Federal Election Commission (FEC) recently announced increased federal contribution limits for the 2021-2022 election cycle. Certain federal contribution limits are indexed for inflation and adjustments are made in odd-numbered years only. The new per election limits are effective for the 2021-2022 election cycle (November 4, 2020 – November 8, 2022). The calendar year limits are effective January 1, 2021.

Individuals may now give up to $2,900 per election to a federal candidate, an increase from $2,800. Because this limit applies separately to the primary and general elections, individuals may give a total of $5,800 per candidate this cycle. The new limits also allow individuals to give $36,500 to national party committees per year, an increase from $35,500.

National party committees are also permitted to establish separate specialized accounts to pay for expenses related to presidential nominating conventions, headquarters buildings, election recounts and other legal expenses. The contribution limit applicable to each of these specialized accounts is 300% of the limits on contributions to the national party committee’s main account. Under the new limits, each of the specialized accounts may accept $109,500 per year from each individual. (See chart below). The FEC also raised the amount that a non-multicandidate PAC may contribute to candidates – they have the same contribution limits as individual contributors. However, the limit on what multicandidate PACs may contribute remains unchanged at $5,000.

The FEC also adjusted the threshold for federal candidates to report federal lobbyists or the PACs of their employers who bundle contributions from others for the committees of those federal candidates. Effective January 1, 2021, political committees must disclose the bundlers and the total amount of the contributions they are credited with raising when the total is more than $19,300.

The chart below details the new limits for individuals in 2021 and 2022.

An individual (or non-multicandidate PAC) may contribute to...

Federal candidates

$2,900

per election

National Party Committee – Main Account

$36,500

per year

National Party Committee – Convention Account (RNC and DNC only)

$109,500

per year

National Party Committee – Party Building Account

$109,500

per year

National Party Committee – Legal Fund Account

$109,500

per year

State or Local Party Committee –  Federal Account

$10,000 (combined)

per year

Federal PACs (including Leadership Committees)

$5,000

per year

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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