Ask the Experts – Calculating LDA Expenditures - State and Federal Communications

January 31, 2012  •  

Ask the Experts – Calculating LDA Expenditures

Rebecca South
Federal Compliance Associate Rebecca South

Q:  Can I change the method by which I am calculating my lobbying expenditures for purposes of filing my Federal  LD-2 reports?

A:  Yes, at the appropriate time.  Under the LDA, registrants have the option of electing the compilation method for quarterly expenditures – that is, whether they use the LDA definitions or the IRC definitions for lobbying.  A change in that method election can only take place, however, in the first quarter of each new year.  Once a report has been filed using one method then all subsequent reports for that reporting year must employ the same method.  That being the case, this is a very good time to consider whether it makes sense to change.  There are advantages and disadvantages to each method and the decision to change your method should be made after careful consideration.  Here are just a few important differences to keep in mind when considering a new method election for 2012:

  • The IRC method allows an organization to employ only one tracking system for both tax and LDA purposes;
  • The IRC method provides a greatly narrowed definition of communications with executive branch officials;
  • Under the LDA method, neither grassroots nor state and local lobbying expenditures are included.

If you think it may make sense to consider a change in your calculating method, please let us know and we’d be happy to assist in a more thorough analysis.

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(We are always available to answer questions from clients that are specific to your needs, and we encourage you to continue to call or e-mail us with questions about your particular company or organization. As always, we will confidentially and directly provide answers or information you need.) Our replies to your questions are not legal advice. Instead, these replies represent our analysis of laws, rules, and regulations.

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