ATTENTION VOIP PROVICERS: Oregon Imposes New Surcharge on I-VoIP Providers Starting January 1

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Starting January 1, 2018, Interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (I-VoIP) providers serving customers in Oregon must begin collecting and remitting Oregon’s Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF) surcharges. Legislation specifically requiring I-VoIP providers to contribute to the fund passed earlier this year and takes effect on January 1.

The Oregon RSPF is a Telecommunications Relay Service type program. Providers may pass the surcharge through to customers and must submit a monthly remittance report to the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by 5 PM PST on the 21st day following the close of each month.

I-VoIP providers’ first monthly remittance report will be due February 21, 2018. However, providers will need to be registered with the RSPF’s online system prior to filing. Providers will also need to start collecting the surcharge on January 1, 2018.

While Oregon PUC staff has indicated I-VoIP providers may get some latitude for filing deadlines as providers adjust to the change, Oregon usually observes strict RSPF filing deadlines on the 21st of each month. I-VoIP providers should not count on ignorance of the new requirement or inattention to filing deadline details as an excuse for failure to pay the surcharge. Moreover, staff assurances of latitude, while helpful, do not bind the PUC or prevent it from taking action against providers that do not register and remit the RSPF surcharge.

If you have questions about whether your company is subject to the RSPF surcharge or would like help registering and remitting monthly reports to the Oregon PUC, please contact Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com or 703-714-1313. Fixed fee registration and post-registration compliance services are available through our affiliated consulting firm, The Commpliance Group.

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