What is the difference between an authorized committee and an unauthorized political committee?

Federal regulations provide that PACs fall under one of two categories: authorized committees and unauthorized committees.

An authorized committee is the principal campaign committee (or other political committee) authorized by a candidate to receive contributions and make expenditures on behalf of the candidate.

An unauthorized committee is a political committee which has not been authorized by a candidate to receive contributions and make expenditures on behalf of a candidate.

Also note that an authorized committee can also become an authorized committee if a prospective candidate fails to disavow a committee’s activity after it reaches a contribution or expenditure threshold of $5,000.00.