The FCC released its schedule of annual regulatory fees for FY 2014. For Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (“ITSPs”), the FCC adopted a fee factor of 0.00340 (or 0.340%), which reflects a decrease from last year’s fee factor of 0.00374 (or 0.374%).
The annual FCC regulatory fee applicable to ITSPs must be paid by all interstate wireline telecommunications providers and interconnected VoIP service providers. Although no due date has been established at this time, consistent with past practices, we anticipate the FCC will set a payment date sometime in September.
The FCC will not be mailing any pre-bills. Instead, the FCC will issue a Public Notice when annual regulatory fees have been calculated and are available on the FCC’s electronic filing and payment system (“Fee Filer system”). At that time, a licensee may login to the Fee Filer system and review its payment obligations.
DETAILS AND IMPORTANT REMINDERS
FCC regulatory fees are based on the total end-user interstate and international revenue reported on the most recently filed FCC 499-A and must be filed by all registered ITSPs, unless de minimis (see de minimis Exemption herein).
The FCC will not contact carriers directly about payment of regulatory fees. Instead, the FCC will likely issue a Public Notice in September with information about the regulatory fee due date and payment procedures. Following the FCC’s issuance of the Public Notice, clients are instructed to review their regulatory fee information posted in the online Fee Filer system (at https://www.fcc.gov/fees/feefiler.html) and, if undisputed, to pay the calculated amounts.
Regulatory fee payments must be accompanied by a FCC Registration Number (“FRN”) and FCC Form 159-E Remittance Advice Form. Form 159 is generated automatically from the Fee Filer system. Payment may be made by check, money order, credit card (less than $100,000.00), wire transfer, electronic check/ ACH debit from bank account or through the Customer Initiated Payment Program (CIP).
de minimis Exemption
Entities whose total regulatory fee liability, including all categories for which payment is due, amounts to less than $10.00 are exempt from payment of the FCC’s regulatory fees. This de minimis exemption is separate and distinct from the de minimis exemption to Universal Service Fund (‘USF”) contribution.
Non-ITSP Regulatory Fees
In addition to the proposed ITSP fee factor, the FCC also imposes regulatory fees on other regulated service providers, including cable operators, submarine cable licensees, and broadcasters. Clients providing FCC licensed services other than, or in addition to, interstate telecommunications should consult the FCC’s fee schedule or contact our firm to determine the applicable fees.
25% Late Payment Penalty
Clients are also reminded that the FCC will impose a significant penalty, equal to 25% of the regulatory fee owed, for any payments received after the due date. For example: paying a $10,000 regulatory fee even one (1) day late would yield a $2,500 late payment penalty. Failure to pay regulatory fees or late payment may lead to additional sanctions, fees, and charges and could result in the revocation of licenses and authorizations.