The FCC has announced a deadline of September 24 for receipt of its Fiscal Year 2015 annual regulatory fees. Fees are owed on all authorizations held as of October 1, 2014.
Payment may be made by credit card, debit card, Automated Clearing House (ACH) debits from a bank account or wire transfers. However, the maximum acceptable daily credit card payment has been lowered to $24,999.99, so alternative means must be used for larger single payments. Regardless of the method, the payment process must be initiated through the FCC’s on-line Fee Filer system.
Full payment must be received by the September 24 deadline in order to avoid the 25% late payment penalty, plus interest and processing fees. This year, in lieu of the prior 180-day trigger, debts older than 120 days will be referred for collection to the Treasury Department, which can be more complex to deal with than the FCC.
Again this year the FCC will not send bills. Instead, it requires that licensees determine the extent of their obligation and obtain information on-line through its Fee Filer system.
We attach for your reference a final list of the 2015 regulatory fees. Note that the FCC has eliminated its prior $10 fee for broadcast auxiliary microwave stations. Also note that while the radio fees are unchanged both from last year and the FCC’s proposal for 2015, it has made further adjustments in the digital TV, translator/booster and earth station fees from those it had proposed earlier for this year.
Licensees are exempt from regulatory fee payments if their total liability is below $500. Although the fee for even a single full-power broadcast station exceeds that amount, licensees of a single FM or TV translator or booster ($440), Low Power or Class A TV station ($440) or earth station ($310) may be able to benefit from the exemption.
We will soon be in the process of contacting our clients who relied upon us to pay their regulatory fees last year. If we can assist you this year and you have not heard from us within the next few days, please let us know so we will have sufficient time to prepare your submissions.
If you plan to pay your fees directly, detailed instructions are to be available on the FCC’s website. However, the FCC website is about to be closed down for maintenance and is not scheduled to reopen until Tuesday, September 8.