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Lawmakers granted extension on financial reporting during pandemic

Members have extra time to file annual financial reports, can get late fees waived

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., chairman of the Ethics Committee, issued guidance Tuesday on pandemic-related relief for financial disclosure filings.
Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., chairman of the Ethics Committee, issued guidance Tuesday on pandemic-related relief for financial disclosure filings. (CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee is allowing lawmakers an extra 90 days to file their annual financial statements and will waive all late filing fees with issues “reasonably related” to the novel coronavirus.

The panel’s guidance, issued Tuesday by Chairman Ted Deutch of Florida and ranking member Kenny Marchant of Texas, pushes the deadline for members and senior staffers to file their yearly rundown of financial assets back from May 15 to Aug. 13. Staff who made $127,914 for at least 60 days during 2019 are considered senior.

This doesn’t eliminate the requirement for members to file periodic transaction reports for individual securities within 45 days of a trade execution. However, the committee acknowledges the extraordinary nature of the coronavirus pandemic and will waive the $200 late filing fee if the delay was related to the pandemic. Under normal circumstances, there is a 30-day grace period for members, marking a total of 75 days before the late fee is actually imposed.

This exception applies to members and staffers, but not to congressional candidates.

The committee is available by phone and email to provide further guidance on financial disclosure reporting during this uncertain time.

Senate periodic transaction reports have been in the spotlight lately, after senators sold pandemic-related stock in the wake of private briefings.

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