Reporting political expenditure (associated entities and third parties)

This information is for third parties and associated entities. If this is not what you are looking for, visit our Funding and disclosure for State elections page to find information that is relevant to you.

For more information, refer to Part 13A of the Electoral Act 1985 External link.

What is political expenditure?

Political expenditure is defined by section 130A of the Electoral Act 1985, and includes the public expression of views on a political party, a Member of Parliament, a candidate, or an issue in an election. It also includes conducting opinion polls. It does not include the expenditure of an electorate allowance or administrative expenditure.

Political expenditure is taken to be incurred when the goods are delivered or the services provided (section 130A(6)).

What must be reported

Political expenditure during capped expenditure period

If a third party incurs more than $5,000 (indexed) of political expenditure during the capped expenditure period, they must lodge an expenditure return. This return must be lodged within 60 days after polling day in a form approved by the Electoral Commissioner (section 130ZQ of the Electoral Act 1985).

A third party must disclose in the return whether any political expenditure was incurred under an arrangement with a person or body who has lodged a 130Y certificate.

The Electoral Commissioner will provide the return forms to lodge.

Annual political expenditure

If a third party incurs, by their own authority, more than $10,000 (indexed) of political expenditure during a financial year, they must lodge an annual expenditure return. This return must be lodged within 12 weeks after the end of the financial year (section 130ZR).

If an associated entity incurs, by their own authority, more than $5,000 (indexed) of political expenditure during a financial year, they must lodge an annual expenditure return. This return must be lodged within 12 weeks after the end of the financial year (section 130ZR).

The Electoral Commissioner will provide the return forms to lodge.

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