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Completing the Financial Statement

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General Information

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 beyond the nomination fee, 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 beyond the nomination fee, you must fill in the information in Box C, Box D, Schedule 1, and Schedule 2 as appropriate. Note: 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 the Summary of Contributions and the 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 27, 2015).

Supplementary financial statements must be submitted to the clerk by 2 p.m. on the last Friday in September (September 25, 2015).

A-Z Tips for Completing Form 4

Anonymous Contributions

You may keep anonymous contributions that do not exceed $10 received at a fundraising event (e.g. collected by passing the hat or having a tip jar). 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 2. You will then subtract the contribution as paid or payable to the clerk to arrive at the Total Amount of Contributions. 

Auditor’s Report

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.

Campaign Deficit

At the bottom of Box C, 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, 2014.

Campaign Period

Your campaign period began on the date you filed your nomination paper with the clerk.

In most cases, the end date will be December 31, 2014. Exceptions are: 

  • If you withdrew your nomination, the date you withdrew 
  • If you were not certified as a candidate, nomination day (September 12, 2014)
Note: if you have extended your campaign to pay down a deficit, you must file a primary 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; or 
  • June 30, 2015.

Campaign Surplus

At the bottom of Box C, 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

You and your spouse are not subject to limits on how much you can contribute to your campaign. Record these amounts on the lines provided in Schedule 1. Do not include them in the tables of contributions. 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 one 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

Corporations are subject to contribution limits, and under the Act, associated corporations are considered to be all the same corporation. This generally means that any corporations that are owned or controlled by the same person or persons may only contribute up to $750 in total to your campaign*. Contributions from corporations exceeding $100 must be recorded in Tables 3 and 4, as appropriate.

In Tables 3 and 4, you must record both the name of the president or business manager of the corporation, and the name of the person who authorized the contribution (i.e. the person who signed the cheque, or who provided the goods or services).

You should also be aware that not all business are corporations. Corporations are the only types of business that are eligible to make a contribution to your campaign. If the proprietor of a business that is not a corporation wishes to contribute money, goods or services to your campaign (including selling goods or services for less than market value), the contribution must be a personal one.

*The City of Toronto has passed a bylaw banning contributions from corporations, including contributions of goods and services. Candidates running for Toronto council should contact the city clerk for more information.

Declaration

By signing, 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.

Expenses

Your nomination fee is an expense and must be recorded in Box C.

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 the campaign money, which the campaign then spent on acquiring the goods or services).

Not all expenses are subject to the spending limit. The spending limit also only applies 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 limit that was incurred prior to voting day but not paid for until after voting day is still subject to the limit. 

Fundraising Events/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 (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
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 $10 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 contributors have donated goods or services for the fundraising event, these must be recorded as contributions and as expenses. If goods or services are sold to the campaign for the fundraising event for less than market value, the difference between market value and what the campaign paid must be recorded as a contribution.

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).

If a vendor is willing to sell goods and services to the campaign at less than market value, the difference between market value and what the campaign paid must be recorded as a contribution. When you record the expense, you should record what you paid plus the value of the discount.

Corporations are the only businesses that are allowed to contribute to campaigns. If the proprietor of a business that is not a corporation wishes to contribute goods or services to your campaign (including selling goods or services for less than market value), the contribution must be a personal one.

Income

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 that is not deemed a contribution (for example, if you sold refreshments at market value).

Ineligible Contributions

Not everyone is eligible to contribute to your campaign. 

  • Individual contributors must be normally resident in Ontario. 
  • A business that wishes to contribute must be a corporation carrying on business in Ontario. Other forms of business such as sole proprietorships or partnerships are not eligible to contribute. 
  • A contribution that is not from a corporation or a trade union must come from one person. Groups such as resident’s associations or clubs are not eligible to contribute group money. Spouses are not permitted to make a joint contribution.
A contributor is only permitted to contribute up to $750 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, you should ensure that the total does not exceed the limit.

Only contributions of $25 or less may be made in cash.

You are obligated to return an ineligible contribution as soon as you become aware that it is not allowed under the Act. 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. You must calculate the current market value (for example, if you have 100 signs left over from 2010 and use them again, you must calculate how much it would cost to purchase 100 signs in 2014) and record it in Table 1. Inventory that you are using again must also be recorded as a campaign expense. 

Loan

You are only allowed to get a loan 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).

Any interest that the campaign pays on the loan is a campaign expense.

Nomination Fee

Your nomination fee is a contribution that you make to your own campaign. It is also a campaign expense. These two amounts will balance each other out. If your nomination fee is refunded to you, record the amount under Income. While this may appear to put your campaign into a surplus, remember that you are entitled to recoup your own contributions up to the amount of the surplus.

Sign Deposit

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.

Spending limit

The clerk is required to issue you two spending limit estimates – one when you file your nomination, and one in September. The higher of the two is your final spending limit.

Unions

A union that holds bargaining rights for employees in Ontario is eligible to contribute to municipal and school board campaigns*. Contributions from unions exceeding $100 must be recorded in Tables 3 and 4, as appropriate.

In Tables 3 and 4, you must record both the name of the president or business manager of the union, and the name of the person who authorized the contribution (i.e. the person who signed the cheque, or who provided the goods or services).

*The City of Toronto has passed a bylaw banning contributions from unions, including contributions of goods and services. Candidates running for Toronto council should contact the city clerk for more information.

Volunteers

The value of services provided by volunteers is generally not considered to be a contribution. If a professional 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.