Common Financial Disclosure Mistakes
The following is a list of the most common mistakes made by filers on their Financial Disclosure Statements (Statement). This list is provided as a guide to help filers, but all filers should still carefully read the instruction booklet, which is available on the Committee’s Web site, www.ethics.house.gov, under the “Financial Disclosure” tab, before completing their Statement. Members and staff who have any questions concerning these or any other reporting requirements should contact the Committee’s nonpartisan staff at (202) 225-7103.
Common Mistakes for All Filers
1. Failing to list the underlying assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) held in a variable insurance policy or annuity, or brokerage, IRA, 401(k), or 529 account.
2. Failing to track assets from year to year, including information in amendments and PTRs, and ensuring the name of the asset and who the asset belongs to (self, spouse, child, joint) are consistent from year to year and filing to filing. If you owned XYZ stock in 2012, we will look for it on your 2013 FD on either Schedule A or B or both. If an asset disclosed on a previous FD is omitted or a new asset is disclosed for the first time without a corresponding Schedule B transaction, please provide an explanation in the comments section in the electronic filing system or in the notes section on the paper form.
3. Failing to include the type of life insurance you own (whole life, universal life, or an annuity) in the name of the asset.
4. Failing to include a mortgaged piece of investment or rental property on Schedule A as an asset when it was listed on Schedule D as a liability, or the reverse.
5. Failing to report capital gains on Schedule A.
6. Failing to include agreements with past or future employers on Schedule F, including an employer with whom you have a pension (including pensions for serving in state or local office) or 401(k) plan or an employer from whom you have a job offer.
Common Mistakes in Electronic Filing
1. Failing to create an Asset Class for a trust, a private business that holds assets, or an IRA, 401(k), 529, or brokerage account in the electronic filing system before beginning Schedule A or B.
2. Failing to create a third-party preparer account for anyone assisting you with preparation of your Statement.
Common Mistakes in Paper Filing
1. Failing to provide the type and location (city and state) of a private business.
2. Failing to include a date for a liability on Schedule D.
3. Failing to ensure that all of the appropriate boxes are checked in Schedule A. We look for an “X” in blocks B, C, and D.