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 Bank Accounts and IRS

Use the following information to learn about the relationship between bank accounts and requirements from the Internal Revenue Service. 

Accounts?

Your account with the West Virginia Secretary of State's office (State-wide offices) or your county clerk's office (County-wide offices) is separate from the bank account(s) in which you hold your contributions and use for expenditures.  You can retain your campaign funds in any number of actual bank accounts - including your personal bank account - that you would like, although most people generally utilize a solitary campaign specific bank account.

Your Bank Account is different than your Financial Account with the state or county office

Recommended but NOT Required

  • One bank account (separate from your personal) set up for your candidate or committee
    • Your bank may require your committee to obtain an EIN - See below
    • Using your personal bank account to receive and disperse campaign funds can cause lots of questionable grey areas where somebody could potentially challenge your financial dealings - Using your personal account is NOT recommended
  • A concise committee name that can be the name on your bank account
    • If you make this name not specific to any date, you will be able to continue using this committee name and bank account for future elections
    • A reusable name will also permit you to recycle your campaign materials and signs

What are the Benefits of a Separate Campaign Bank Account?

  • In the case of an audit, your personal bank account would not contain any campaign financial transactions, and would therefore be more protected from inquiry.
  • You bank's transaction history would become a living track record of all of your campaign transactions.  This will help you recall any past details that come under question and will aid you in accurately completing your financial reports.
  • A separate bank account ensures that contributions to your political campaign are not spent on personal expenses, and gives a better public image about the handling of campaign finances.

IRS Requirements

To find out more information about IRS filing requirements for political organizations, pleace call 1-800-829-4933. To obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number), you may apply online here

The IRS may have specific tax reporting requirements of their own that have nothing to do with the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office or your county clerk - all such inquiries should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service.