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Completing the financial statement
Candidates must use Form 4.
All candidates must complete Box A: Name of Candidate and Office and Box B: Declaration.
- If you did not receive any contributions (including contributions from yourself) or incur any expenses, check the box indicating this, and complete the Declaration in Box B. No further information is required.
- If you did receive contributions (including contributions from yourself) or incur any expenses, you must fill in the information in Box C, Box D, Schedule 1 and Schedule 2, as appropriate. You may find it easier to fill out the form if you start with the more detailed sections such as the tables in Schedule 1 before filling in Box C (Statement of Campaign Income and Expenses).
If you received contributions or incurred expenses in excess of $10,000, you must include an auditor’s report with your financial statement.
Your completed financial statement must be submitted to the clerk by 2 p.m. on the last Friday in March (March 29, 2019).
Supplementary financial statements must be submitted to the clerk by 2 p.m. on the last Friday in September (September 27, 2019).
A-Z tips for completing Form 4
You may keep anonymous contributions that do not exceed $25 each that are received at a fundraiser (e.g. collected by passing the hat or having a tip jar). Report the total amount of money received from these donations in Schedule 2 for that fundraiser.
All other anonymous contributions must be turned over to the clerk.
If the anonymous contribution is $100 or less, include it in the total value of contributions not exceeding $100 per contributor. If the anonymous contribution is more than $100, include it in the total value of contributions exceeding $100 per contributor, and include it in Table 1 (listing "anonymous" as the name of the contributor). You will then subtract the contribution as paid or payable to the clerk to arrive at the Total for Part II Contributions.
If your campaign expenses or the contributions you received total more than $10,000 you must have an auditor review your financial statement and provide a report.
The auditor’s report must be prepared by an auditor licensed under the Public Accounting Act, 2004. Before you hire someone to prepare the report, you should ensure that they are properly qualified.
At the top of Box D, you must subtract the total amount of your campaign expenses from the total amount of your campaign income. If your expenses are greater than your income, your campaign is in deficit.
If you ran for office on the same council or school board in the previous election, and that campaign also had a deficit, you may include this amount to arrive at the total deficit for your campaign.
If you have extended your campaign in order to fundraise, you must still file a financial statement reflecting your campaign finances to December 31, 2018.
Your campaign period begins on the date you file your nomination paper with the clerk.
In most cases, the end date will be December 31, 2018. Exceptions are:
- if you withdrew your nomination, the date you withdrew is the end date
- if you were not certified as a candidate, nomination day (July 27, 2018) is the end date
Note: if you have extended your campaign in order to fundraise to eliminate a deficit, you must file an initial statement reflecting your campaign finances as of December 31, and a supplementary statement which includes any contributions or expenses incurred after December 31.
The end date for the extended campaign period will be the earliest of:
- the day you notify the clerk in writing that you will be ending your campaign and not accepting any more contributions
- June 30, 2019
At the top of Box D, you must subtract the total amount of your campaign expenses from the total amount of your campaign income. If your income is greater than your expenses, your campaign has a surplus.
If you ran for office on the same council or school board in the previous election, and that campaign had a deficit, you may subtract this amount from your surplus.
You are entitled to recoup contributions made by yourself or your spouse out of the surplus. For example, if the surplus was $500 and you contributed $400 to your campaign, you may deduct that $400, leaving your campaign with a surplus of $100. If the surplus was $500 and you contributed $600, you may deduct $500 of your contribution, leaving your campaign with $0. You may not deduct more than the value of the surplus.
If, after deducting contributions made by yourself or your spouse, the campaign still has a surplus, these funds must be turned over to the clerk.
Contributions from yourself and/or your spouse
If you are running for municipal council, you and your spouse are subject to limits on how much you can contribute to your campaign. This limit applies to contributions of money, goods and services, as well as the value of any inventory from a previous campaign that you have used in your current campaign.
Record these amounts on the lines provided in Schedule 1. Do not include them in the tables of contributions (Table 1 or Table 2). The other reason to identify the contributions from you and your spouse is because those contributions can be recouped by you and your spouse if the campaign ends with a surplus.
Contributions totalling more than $100
If a contributor makes 1 or more contributions totalling more than $100 (including the value of goods and services and the cost of tickets to fundraising events), you must record all of these contributions in the tables provided.
Contributions totalling $100 or less
If the total amount contributed (including the value of goods and services) from a single contributor is $100 or less, you do not need to provide details on the form. Simply indicate the total value of all such contributions on the line provided.
Note: it is the total amount contributed that matters – if an individual buys a ticket to a fundraising event for $50, and then later in the campaign contributes $75, each of these contributions must be recorded in Table 2 because the total exceeds $100.
Corporations are not permitted to make contributions to candidates. If you have accepted a contribution from a corporation, you must return it.
By signing the form, you are declaring that the information recorded in the financial statement is true and accurate. If your financial statement was prepared by someone else, you as the candidate are still responsible for its accuracy.
Your campaign expenses include the value of any goods or services that have been contributed to your campaign (it is as if the contributor gave money to the campaign, which the campaign then spent on acquiring the goods or services).
The general spending limit applies only to expenses incurred until the end of voting day. Expenses incurred after voting day are not subject to the spending limit.
Note: An expense subject to the general spending limit that was incurred prior to voting day but not paid for until after voting day is still subject to the limit.
Some types of expenses are not subject to the general spending limit even if they are incurred prior to voting day.
The cost of holding fundraising events or activities is not subject to the spending limit. However, in order to be considered a fundraising cost, the primary purpose for the expense must be related to fundraising rather than promoting the candidate. Incidental fundraising that happens to occur during a promotional event is not sufficient to make it a fundraising event. Similarly, a line at the bottom of a campaign brochure asking people to donate does not make the production of the brochure a fundraising expense.
If you have included costs of fundraising events/activities as an expense in Box C, you must provide details of these events and activities in Schedule 2.
Contributions received at a fundraising event may include:
- the price of the ticket
- if goods or services are offered for sale, any amount of money paid that exceeds their market value (e.g. if a $100 item is sold for $175, the purchaser has made a $75 contribution to the campaign)
- personal cheques collected from contributors at the event
If contributors have donated goods or services for the fundraising event, these must be recorded as contributions and as expenses.
These contributions must be recorded in Schedule 1, and where the total from a contributor exceeds $100, be detailed in the appropriate tables.
The fundraising event may also generate income that is not considered to be a contribution:
- donations of $25 or less
- if goods or services are offered for sale, the market value of those goods and services sold (e.g. if a $100 item is sold for $175, $100 is income)
- if goods or services are offered for sale for $25 or less, the money paid is campaign income
Goods and services
Eligible contributors may donate goods and services to the campaign. These must be recorded as a contribution and as an expense (as if the contributor donated money, which the campaign then spent on the goods and services).
Corporations and trade unions are not permitted to make contributions to candidates. This includes contributions of goods and services.
Your campaign income includes all contributions received from yourself, your spouse and other eligible contributors. This includes the value of contributions of goods and services. Income also includes any refunds of deposits, interest earned by your campaign bank account, and revenue from fund-raising events or activities that is not deemed a contribution (for example, if you sold refreshments at market value).
Only individuals normally resident in Ontario may contribute to your campaign.
Trade unions, corporations, other businesses and groups are not permitted to make contributions to candidates.
Spouses are not permitted to make a joint contribution. If a contribution comes from a joint account, you must determine which individual is actually making the contribution.
A contributor is only permitted to contribute up to $1,200 to your campaign in total ($2,500 if you are running for mayor in Toronto). This includes the value of goods and services. If a contributor has made a number of separate contributions to your campaign, ensure that the total does not exceed the limit.
Only contributions of $25 or less may be made in cash.
You must return an ineligible contribution as soon as you become aware that it is not permitted under the Municipal Elections Act, 1996. If you are not able to return it to the contributor, you must turn it over to the clerk.
Inventory from previous campaign
Any inventory from a previous campaign that you are using again is a contribution in goods that you make to your campaign, and counts towards your self-funding limit. You must calculate the current market value (for example, if you have 100 signs left over from 2014 and use them again, you must calculate how much it would cost to purchase those same signs in 2018) and record it in Table 1. This inventory must also be recorded as a campaign expense.
You are permitted to get a loan only from a bank or other recognized lending institution in Ontario, and it must be paid directly into your campaign bank account. You may not receive a loan from family members or from any corporate accounts that you may have access to.
The loan is not considered to be campaign income, and paying it back is not a campaign expense. However, if you or your spouse guarantee the loan and the campaign does not repay all of it, the remaining balance is considered to be a contribution (since the guarantor is basically providing the campaign the means to repay the loan). This amount counts towards your self-funding limit.
Any interest that the campaign pays on the loan is a campaign expense.
If your municipality requires a deposit for election signs, this should be recorded as a campaign expense and paid for using campaign funds. If your deposit is refunded, record the amount under Income in Box C.
The clerk is required to issue you 2 spending limit estimates – 1 when you file your nomination, and 1 in September. The higher of the 2 is your final spending limit.
Trade unions are not allowed to make contributions to candidates. If you have accepted a contribution from a trade union, you must return it.
The value of services provided by volunteers is generally not considered to be a contribution. If a professional (e.g. accountant, lawyer, etc.) volunteers to provide services for which they would normally be paid, the market value of the service must be recorded as a contribution by the volunteer, and as a campaign expense.