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FCC Annual Regulatory Fees Due by September 26th – 25% Penalty for Late Payment

Annual FCC Regulatory Fees

Most Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) licensees and other regulated entities must pay regulatory fees annually to offset costs associated with the FCC’s enforcement, public service, international, policy, and rulemaking activities. Fee amounts change each year and vary by type of activity. On September 5, 2017, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing a payment deadline for annual regulatory fees of no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on September 26, 2017.

ALERTS:  The Commission will not issue bills for the regulatory fees and it is the licensee’s responsibility to determine the fees owed (regardless of the amount posted on the Fee Filer system).

Failure to pay fees by the posted deadline will result in a 25% late penalty that is challenging to waive, once assessed!

Regulatory Fees

As noted in the Commission’s Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2017 Report and Order released on September 5, 2017, for FY 2017, the FCC has assessed and plans to collect a total of $356 million in regulatory fees. The Commission calculates regulatory fees by first determining the number of full time employees (FTEs) who perform the regulatory activities specified in section 9(a) of the Communications Act. These employees, or FTEs, are categorized as either “direct” or “indirect.” “Direct” FTEs are employees who perform regulatory activities in one of the “core” bureaus (i.e. the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Media Bureau, Wireline Competition Bureau, and part of the International Bureau).

Information about several of the fee categories is included below and fact sheets detailing the types of fees, fee codes, payment methods and options for all regulatory fees can be found on the FCC’s website.

If you require guidance or assistance with your company’s annual FCC regulatory fee calculation and payment, contact your assigned attorney or Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commlawgroup.com.

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