Guidance for political parties
We regulate the finances of political parties and maintain the registers of political parties in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Political parties must follow certain rules set out in law.
Our guidance is here to help parties comply with the rules. You do not have to follow this guidance, but if you do, you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law.
Our guidance covers:
- How to register a party or maintain your party's details
- Reporting donations and loans in Great Britain
- Reporting donations and loans in Northern Ireland
- Reporting campaign spending
- Submitting your party's accounts
Looking for a form?
You can submit all forms online – use PEF Online.
Alternatively you can find a full list of our forms for political parties.
Changes to the confidentiality rules on donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties from 1 July 2017
The Transparency of Donations and Loans etc. (Northern Ireland Political Parties) Order 2018 was made on 7 March 2018.
It changes the rules on the confidentiality of donations and loans to Northern Ireland political parties and regulated donees (members of registered political parties, members associations, and holders of relevant elective office such as MPs, MEPs, MLAs and councillors).
Our guidance has been updated, and we will be publishing revised versions of the donations returns and loans reports forms to reflect the changes to the legislation.
Key dates for 2018
As part of regulating party finance and maintaining transparency, parties must submit financial reports on donations, loans and expenditure by certain dates. Parties are also under a duty to confirm their details and renew their registration every year. Below you can find the deadline dates for the main reporting requirements for political parties in 2018.
- Download a printable calendar for 2018 (PDF)
- Download a calendar file to save reporting dates in your personal calendar (ICS file)
|30 January 2018||Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2017–31 December 2017) donations and loans reports|
|30 April 2018||
Deadline for submitting Quarter 1 (1 January 2018–31 March 2018) donations and loans reports|
Deadline for statement of accounts (income and expenditure below £250k) for year end 31 December 2017
|3 May 2018||Polling day - local elections in England|
|7 July 2018||Deadline for statement of accounts (income or expenditure over £250k) for year end 31 December 2017|
|30 July 2018||Deadline for submitting Quarter 2 (1 April 2018–30 June 2018) donations and loans report|
|30 October 2018||Deadline for submitting Quarter 3 (1 July 2018–30 September 2018) donations and loans report|
|30 January 2019||Deadline for submitting Quarter 4 (1 October 2018–31 December 2018) donations and loans report|