Completing the financial statement
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All candidates must file a financial statement. This includes candidates who withdrew their nomination, candidates who were not certified and did not appear on the ballot, and candidates who were acclaimed.
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 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 31, 2023).
Supplementary financial statements must be submitted to the clerk by 2 p.m. on the last Friday in September (September 29, 2023).
Tips for completing Form 4
Learn more about how to correctly fill out the campaign financial statement.
Box A: Name of Candidate and Office
Record your general spending limit and your spending limit for parties and other expressions of appreciation.
Note: automatic penalties will apply if the form reports that either of the spending limits have been exceeded.
If you are running for a council position, record your self-funding limit.
Box B: Declaration
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.
Box C: Statement of Campaign Income and Expenses
If you obtained a loan for your campaign you must record the name of the bank or recognized lending institution and the amount borrowed.
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.
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 fundraising events or activities that is not deemed a contribution (for example, if you sold refreshments at market value).
You have 100 t-shirts printed to sell at a fundraiser. The cost to the campaign is $10 per shirt, and you sell them for $25 each.
The $25 is not a contribution. You do not have to collect names and contact information, or issue a contribution receipt to anyone who buys a shirt.
The $1,000 that you spent on the shirts must be recorded as a campaign expense.
The $2,500 that you raised by selling the shirts must be recorded as revenue from fundraising events not deemed a contribution.
If you sell goods (such as food and drink) at market value, the revenue is not considered to be a contribution and must be recorded as revenue from fundraising events not deemed a contribution.
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.
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.
Expenses related to parties and expressions of appreciation after voting day are subject to that spending limit regardless of when they are incurred.
Box D: Calculation of Surplus or Deficit
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 have extended your campaign in order to fundraise, you must still file a financial statement reflecting your campaign finances to January 3, 2023.
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.
You are entitled to reimburse 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.
Schedule 1: Contributions
Schedule 1 includes a summary of contributions from your campaign.
The following tables are included in Schedule 1 and need to be filled in, if applicable:
- Table 1: Contributions in goods or services from candidate or spouse
- Table 2: Inventory of campaign goods and materials from previous municipal campaign used in this campaign
- Table 3: Monetary contributions from individuals other than candidate or spouse where contributions exceed $100 per contributor
- Table 4: Contributions in goods or services from individuals other than candidate or spouse where contributions exceed $100 per contributor
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 reimbursed by you and your spouse if the campaign ends with a surplus.
Note: you must report the full amount of the contributions made by you and your spouse, including any amounts that have been reimbursed from a surplus.
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 at the top of Schedule 1.
If an anonymous contribution is $100 or less, include it in the total value of contributions not exceeding $100 per contributor. Any anonymous contribution that is greater than $25 must be turned over to the clerk.
Goods and services from candidate or spouse
If you or your spouse contribute goods and services to your campaign, this must be recorded as a contribution. Record any contributions in Table 1 of Schedule 1.
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 2018 and use them again, you must calculate how much it would cost to purchase those same signs in 2022) and record it in Table 2. This inventory must also be recorded as a campaign expense.
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 in Schedule 1 (Tables 3 and 4).
If an anonymous contribution is more than $100, include it in the total value of contributions exceeding $100 per contributor, and include it in Table 3 (listing "anonymous" as the name of the contributor). Any anonymous contribution that is greater than $25 must be turned over to the clerk.
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 3 because the total exceeds $100.
Goods and services from individuals other than candidate or spouse
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 friend spends $150 on coffee and baked goods which they donate for a campaign event. You should record a contribution of $150 in goods or services from your friend and record an expense of $150.
If you are given a special discount on a good or service that you are purchasing for your campaign, you should record the expense as if you were not given the discount (since the value of the discount is considered to be a contribution of the good or service to your campaign).
Your order for campaign signs would normally cost $500, but the vendor lets you have them for $300 because he wants to help out your campaign. You should record an expense of $500 for the signs and record a contribution of $200 in goods or services from the vendor.
Note: As businesses are not permitted to make contributions, the contribution would have to be a personal contribution from the vendor.
Contributions in goods or services from individuals other than the candidate or spouse must be recorded in Table 4 of Schedule 1.
Schedule 2: Fundraising Events and Activities
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 (for example, 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. Refer to the section above Schedule 1: Contributions for more information.
The fundraising event may also generate revenue 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 (for example, if a $100 item is sold for $175, $100 is revenue)
- the amount paid for goods or services offered for sale for $25 or less
You may keep anonymous contributions that do not exceed $25 each that are received at a fundraiser (such as those 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.
You will then subtract the contribution as paid or payable to the clerk to arrive at the Total for Part II Contributions in Schedule 2.
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.