We remind you of the upcoming deposit listed below:
FCC Annual Regulatory Fee
Most Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) licensees and other regulated entities (collectively, “the regulated”) are required to pay regulatory fees each year to offset costs associated with enforcement, service activities. public, international, policy and regulatory issues of the FCC.
On September 7, 2021, the FCC issued a public notice announcing that payment of the annual regulatory fee for fiscal year 2021 must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 24, 2021. Regulatory fees not paid by the due date are subject to a 25% mandatory late payment penalty and can earn interest. Although the regulatory fee will not officially come into effect until it is published in the Federal Register, regulated entities that are required to pay a fee have the discretion to submit payments at any time before the deadline. To note: the Commission will not issue invoices for regulatory fees and it is the responsibility of the regulated entity to determine the fees due (regardless of the amount displayed on the expense reporting system).
In the Report and Ordinance on Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 2021, the Commission extended the simplified filing procedures for fee waiver, deferral and installment payment requests implemented in FY2020 to FY2021 due to financial difficulties related to the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19). Simplified procedures include:
(1) directing regulated entities seeking redress to file their claims by email to a dedicated email address, and
(2) allowing regulated entities to file a single consolidated waiver, postponement and / or installment payment request
Select the regulatory fee categories
The FCC has estimated and expects to collect a total of $ 374,000,000 in regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. Fee amounts change each year and vary by type of activity. Fact sheets detailing the types of fees, fee codes, payment methods, and options for all regulatory fees are usually provided on the FCC website. Information on the most relevant expense categories for Kelley Drye customers is included below.
Telecommunications service providers (including toll-free numbers). Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) charges must be paid by most service providers, including VoIP providers and audio bridge providers. The ITSP regulatory fee is based on end-user telecommunications revenues reported on FCC 2021 Form 499-A and this fee has increased to $ 0.00400 per dollar of subject revenue for fiscal year 2021 (from $ 0.00 $ 00,321 for fiscal 2020). Responsible organizations (“RespOrgs”) with toll-free numbers must pay regulatory fees based on their number of toll-free numbers as of December 31, 2020. For fiscal year 2021, the toll-free number charges remain the same as the last year at $ 0.12.
Licensed CMRS vendors. Authorized commercial mobile radio service providers (RSMCs) must pay an annual regulatory fee for each license held on or after October 1, 2020, even if the license expired after that date. If the license has been transferred or assigned after October 1, 2020, the royalty is due by the licensee from the due date of the regulatory royalty. CMRS charges are based on the number of subscribers or telephone numbers of the regulated entity as of December 31, 2020. For fiscal year 2021, CMRS mobile and cellular radio providers will pay $ 0.15 per subscriber or phone number, up from $ 0.17 for fiscal 2020, while CMRS messaging service providers have not experienced any rate changes from fiscal 2020 and will pay $ 0.08 per subscriber.
Submarine cable systems and international carrier circuits. Submarine cable systems are subject to a six-tier regulatory tariff structure based on the enlightened capacity of the cable system as of December 31, 2020. International terrestrial and satellite circuits are subject to a charge of $ 43 per active Gbps circuit for fiscal year 2021, compared to $ 41 per Gbps circuit for fiscal 2020.
Waiver and installment plan requests
Recognizing that regulated entities subject to annual regulatory fees for fiscal 2021 may have experienced financial hardship during the current COVID-19 pandemic, the FCC has extended COVID-19 temporary relief until fiscal 2021 adopted for regulatory fees for fiscal 2020. The FCC has streamlined the procedures for regulated entities to request waiver, reduction, deferral and installment plans for regulatory fees for fiscal 2021 . Waiver and installment plan requests must be submitted by September 24, 2021. Parties are encouraged to file their claims electronically by sending their claims by email, along with all supporting financial documents, to the following email address: [email protected] Waiver requests filed after this date will not be rejected, but any unpaid regulatory fees will be subject to the 25% late payment penalty from the FCC and may earn interest.
Requests for a waiver, reduction or deferral of regulatory fees for fiscal year 2021, based on financial hardship grounds (“financial hardship waiver”) must include financial documents showing that the regulated entity is “insufficiently funded. to fully pay its regulatory fees for fiscal 2021 while maintaining the service. to the public. ”These requests may also include a request to waive, reduce or postpone the mandatory 25% late penalty and interest that the FCC charges when regulatory fees are not paid by the due date. payment.
Regulated persons who cannot pay their full regulatory fees for fiscal year 2021 by the fee payment deadline may also request a payment plan and must provide financial documents showing that the regulated person cannot pay all of its regulatory fees for fiscal year 2021 by the September 24 payment deadline. The Commission is relaxing the usual terms of its payment plan, including waiving the ten percent (10%) down payment and reducing the usual interest rate.
To streamline the waiver process, the Board allows for 2021 regulatory fee deferral and waiver requests to be combined into one document, rather than being filed as separate requests, and hardship waivers Financial and installation plan requests can be submitted via e-mail. The FCC is also waiving its “red light” rule, which generally prevents the FCC from processing an entity’s or other claim when the entity is in debt to the Commission, to regulate the filing of claims. requests for exemption from financial hardship. However, the Commission will not grant a waiver in the event of financial hardship or a payment plan request without “satisfactory resolution” of all unpaid debts owed by the regulated entity to the Commission. Note that the “red light” rule remains in effect for regulated entities requesting a waiver or reduction of regulatory fees for fiscal year 2021 for reasons other than financial hardship.
De minimis exemption
Under the aegis of the Commission de minimis exemption, regulated entities whose annual regulatory fees, across all fee categories, total $ 1,000 or less, are exempt from paying fees for fiscal year 2021. The de minimis threshold applies only to regulatory fee filers annual (not regulatory fees paid through multi-year filings), and this is not a permanent exemption. Regulated entities are responsible for annually assessing their fee obligations to determine whether the entity is still eligible for the de minimis exemption and must be prepared to provide supporting documents to the Commission on request.
All regulated entities must use the FCC’s fee filing system to coordinate the payment of fees. The Commission has published a public notice providing detailed information on the procedures and methods of payment. Note that regulatory fee payments must be has received by the Commission by the 11:59 p.m. EDT September 24, 2021 deadline.
It is also important to note that licensees and regulated entities must have a current and valid FRN address registered in the Commission’s Registration System (CORES) in order to file and pay regulatory fees.
Lawyers in the Kelley Drye & Warren Communications Practice Group are experienced in resolving Federal Communications Commission reporting issues and are able to assist clients with regulatory fees.