Who can contribute
An individual may make contributions to candidates and their authorized committees, subject to limitations.
An individual who is under 18 years old may make contributions to candidates and political committees, subject to limitations, if:
- The decision to contribute is made knowingly and voluntarily by the minor;
- The funds, goods or services contributed are owned or controlled by the minor, proceeds from a trust for which he or she is a beneficiary or funds withdrawn by the minor from a financial account opened and maintained in his or her name; and
- The contribution is not made using funds given to the minor as a gift for the purpose of making the contribution, and is not in any way controlled by another individual.
Certain limited liability companies (LLCs)
For purposes of contribution limitations and prohibitions, a limited liability company (LLC) is treated as either a corporation or a partnership.
An LLC is treated as a corporation if:
- It has chosen to file, under Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules, as a corporation; or
- It has publicly traded shares.
An LLC is treated as a partnership if:
- It has chosen to file, under IRS rules, as a partnership; or
- It has made no choice, under IRS rules, as to whether it is a corporation or a partnership.
If an LLC is treated as a corporation, it is prohibited from making contributions to candidate committees, but it can establish an SSF. It may also give money to IEOPCs. If it is considered a partnership, it is subject to the contribution limits for partnerships.
If a single member LLC has not chosen corporate tax treatment, it may make contributions; the contributions will be attributed to the single member, not the LLC.
Partnerships are permitted to make contributions according to special rules.
Contributions received by a candidate's authorized committees from a partnership may not exceed the limitations. In addition, a contribution from a partnership also counts proportionately against each participating partner’s own limit with respect to the same candidate.
In past advisory opinions and enforcement cases, the Commission has determined that an unincorporated tribal entity can be considered a "person" under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and thus subject to the various contribution prohibitions and limitations.
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