Annual Regulatory Fees Payable to the Federal Communications Commission Due No Later than September 25, 2020


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.

If your Company has a 499 Filer ID, your Company will owe annual FCC Regulatory Fees.  You should act now to determine how much is owed, confirm the accuracy of assessed fees, and make timely payment arrangements.

On August 31, 2020, the Commission released Assessment of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FY 2020 Regulatory Fees Report and Order), available for viewing at http://www.fcc.gov/regfees. This Public Notice announces the opening of the Commission’s automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer system) for FY 2020 regulatory fees. 

Regulatory fee payments MUST BE RECEIVED by the Commission via the Fee Filer system no later than 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time, on September 25, 2020.


  • The Commission will not mail or e-mail invoices to your Company for the regulatory fees it owes.  It is YOUR responsibility to determine the fees owed (regardless of the amount posted on the Fee Filer system).

  • Failure to pay FCC Annual Regulatory fees by the posted deadline will result in a 25% late penalty!!

  • Once a late penalty is imposed, it will be difficult (if not futile) to waive.

Waiver and Installment Plan Requests

Recognizing that regulatees subject to FY 2020 annual regulatory fees may have suffered financial hardship during the current Covid-19 pandemic, the FCC has streamlined the procedures for regulatees to seek waiver, reduction, deferral, and installment payments plans for FY2020 regulatory fees. Waiver and installment plan requests must be filed on or before September 25, 2020. Waiver requests filed after that date will not be dismissed but any unpaid regulatory fees will be assessed the FCC’s 25% late payment penalty and may accrue interest.

Requests for waiver, reduction, or deferral of FY 2020 regulatory fees, based on financial hardship grounds (“financial hardship waiver”) must include financial documentation showing that the regulatee “lacks sufficient funds to pay its FY 2020 regulatory fee in full while maintaining service to the public.” These requests may also include a request for waiver, reduction, or deferral of the mandatory 25% late payment penalty and interest that the FCC applies when regulatory fees are not paid by the payment due date.

Regulatees that cannot pay their FY 2020 regulatory fees in full by the fee payment deadline also can request a payment installment plan and must provide financial documentation showing that the regulatee cannot pay its FY 2020 regulatory fees in full by the September 25 payment deadline. The Commission is easing its typical payment plan terms including waiving the ten percent (10%) down payment and reducing the usual interest rate.

To streamline the waiver process, the Commission is permitting requests for deferral and waiver of FY 2020 regulatory fees to be combined into a single document, rather than being filed as separate requests, and financial hardship waivers and installation plan requests can be submitted via e-mail. The FCC also is waiving its “red light” rule, that ordinarily prevents FCC processing of an entity’s application or other request when the entity owes a debt to the Commission, for regulates filing financial hardship waiver requests. However, the Commission will not grant a financial hardship waiver or payment plan request without “satisfactory resolution” of all outstanding debt owed by the regulatee to the Commission. Note that the “red light” rule remains in effect for regulatees seeking a waiver or reduction of FY 2020 regulatory fees on grounds other than financial hardship.

Need Help? 

If you are a current client of Marashlian & Donahue, PLLC, The CommLaw Group, and 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.

If you are a current AccuReg™ subscriber, The Commpliance Group‘s outsourced FCC Compliance solution, contact Marsha Pokorny at map@commpliancegroup.com if you require any assistance. You may also verify the accuracy of the assessed regulatory fee through your Client Portal in AccuCompliance™

Lastly, members of the Cloud Communications Alliance seeking to outsource their Regulatory, Tax, and/or Corporate compliance obligations should visit the Member’s Benefits page for more information on special offers from The Commpliance Group; discounted solutions are also available by contacting Jonathan S. Marashlian at jsm@commpliancegroup.com.

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