What do you do if you receive a donation from an impermissible or unidentifiable source?

If you receive a donation and it isn’t permissible, you must return it within 30 days. If your party keeps the impermissible donation after the 30 days, you are deemed to have accepted it. 

If your party accepts an impermissible donation, your party may be subject to civil sanctions. The party and the treasurer may also have committed criminal offences. Any potential breach will be dealt with in accordance with our Enforcement Policy.

If you’ve accepted an impermissible donation, you should tell us as soon as possible.

You must record:

  • the name of the source, if known
  • the amount of the donation, if money, or the nature and value of the donation if non-money
  • the manner in which the donation was made
  • the date you received the donation
  • the date you returned the donation
  • the action you took to return the donation (for example, the person or institution you returned it to)

You must include all impermissible donations in your quarterly report.

How do you return an impermissible donation?

If you know who the donor is, you must return it to them within 30 days of receiving the donation. 

If the donation is from an unidentified source (for example, an anonymous £600 money donation), you must return it within 30 days of receiving the donation to: 

  • the person who transferred the donation to you; or 
  • the financial institution used to transfer the donation

If you cannot identify either, you must send the donation to the Electoral Commission. We will pay it into the Consolidated Fund, which is managed by HM Treasury.

If any interest has been gained on the donation before you return it, you can keep it. This is not treated as a donation and it does not need to be reported.

Last updated: 31 March 2022