April and May 2020 Lobbying, Campaign and Nonprofit Reports Are Still Due April 2020

Like you, we at the Sutton Law Firm are adjusting to the new work methods and norms during California’s stay-at-home order, and we want to assure you that we are here to help with your political and election law needs during these challenging times.  With an eye toward compliance, we also want to highlight that the California Fair Political Practices Commission and local ethics commissions are also open and operating, and lobbying, campaign and nonprofit reporting obligations remain in place.

Although the deadline for filing Statements of Economic Interests (Form 700) has been extended from April 1 to June 1, and although some governmental agencies have suspended their responses to Public Records Act requests and certain open meeting requirements, we have not received any indication that the FPPC or local ethics commissions plan to extend deadlines for lobbying and campaign reports due in April.  In other words, quarterly state and local lobbying reports are still due on April 15 or 30, and pre-election and 24-hour campaign reports associated with the May 12 special election in Senate District 28 will still be due.  In sum, you should still pay attention to your first quarter lobbying reports, and will need to file a 24 hour report if you make a contribution to a state or local political party or make a contribution or independent expenditure for a candidate in the May special election.

In addition, although the IRS has extended the April 15 tax return deadline to July 15, we have not received any indication that the May 15 deadlines for nonprofit organizations to file their 2019 tax returns and Attorney General annual reports will be extended (other than the regular ability to extend the deadline to November 15).

If the Sutton Law Firm prepares and files your lobbying, campaign or nonprofit reports, please respond at your earliest convenience to the questionnaires or other inquiries from our Political Compliance Specialists.  Even though the importance of complying with lobbying, campaign and nonprofit filing deadlines pales in comparison to other events unfolding in our state and throughout the world, the Sutton Law Firm wants to make certain that you avoid late filing penalties or other liabilities for missing a report.

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     Feel free to contact a Sutton Law Firm attorney or Political Compliance Specialist if you have any questions regarding reports, questionnaires, or any other political or election law concerns, especially with regard to the stay-at-home order.