The FCC is required by Congress to recover $339,884,000 in regulatory fees for fiscal year 2014. The FCC has announced that payment of the Commission’s regulatory fees for FY 2014 (October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2014) are due by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.
As in the past, annual regulatory fees for radio stations are based on the population served by each station and the class and service of each station. Fees for full-service television stations are based upon market size and no longer differentiate between VHF and UHF operation within the same market. For low power, Class A and TV translator/booster stations that are in the process of transitioning to digital operation, only a single regulatory fee is assessed for stations operating both an analog channel and a simulcast digital companion channel. Broadcast auxiliary facilities, such as STLs and RPUs, are assessed a flat fee of $10 each.
Fees are assessed for all licensed facilities and for construction permits for unbuilt new stations that were granted as of October 1, 2013; in the event of an assignment or transfer of an authorization since October 1, 2013, the responsibility for payment rests with the holder of the authorization as of September 23, 2014. Regulatory fees are assessed for satellite space and earth stations or systems licensed and operational as of October 1, 2013. Government, noncommercial educational, and other non-profit entities are exempt from all regulatory fees.
The FCC no longer sends pre-bills to licensees, and will no longer accept checks (including cashier’s checks and money orders) in payment of assessed fees. Fees will need to be paid by online automated clearinghouse (ACH) payment, online credit card, or wire transfer. Regulatory fee information for FY 2014 may be found here. The specific fee assessed for each broadcast station may be found here; licensees should carefully check the market size and service population data set forth for each station which has been used by the FCC to establish the station’s fee. Note that this information does not include separate annual fees that are owed for each auxiliary license, such as for remote pick-up stations and STLs, or fees due for other licensed services, such as satellite ENGtrucks.
Payment of all regulatory fees must be initiated using Fee Filer, the FCC’s electronic filing and payment system, available at http://www.fcc.gov/fees/feefiler.html. Fee Filer allows for direct payment of fees by credit card. Licensees that prefer to pay regulatory fees by wire transfer must still initiate fee filings using Fee Filer, and need to fax copy of the Form 159-E generated by Fee Filer to U.S. Bank, St. Louis, Missouri at (314) 418-4232 at least one hour before initiating the wire transfer (but on the same business day) so as not to delay crediting their account. However paid, all fees must be received by September 23, 2014. There is no grace period for payment – all payments received after the deadline will be subject to an automatic 25% late fee.
If you have any questions concerning the fee payment procedures or would like our assistance in preparing the payment documentation, please contact our office.