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FCC sets Sept. 24 deadline for annual regulatory fees

True to form the FCC waited until JUST before the Labor Day weekend to announce its final FY 2015 annual regulatory fees AND to set a due date which will be by 11:59 pm EDT on Sept. 24.

That leaves slightly more than two weeks to pay them.

Remember, there will be NO reminder notices mailed to stations – it is the responsibility of licensees to make sure that their electronic payments are made timely and the transaction is completed by the Sept 24 due date.

All regulatory fee payments must be made by online ACH payment, online credit card, or wire transfer, all with an accompanying FCC 159-E form which must first be electronically filed through the FCC’s Fee Filer system. 

Fee Filer is now up and running; you can get to it at this link

Once you log into the system (using your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password), you’ll have to generate a Form 159-E, which you’ll need to tender as part of the payment process.

If you’re paying by wire transfer, you’ll have to fax in your 159-E.

A tip of the hat to Associate member law firm Fletcher Heald Hildreth for providing a link to a convenient table setting out the new fees for broadcast-related services. 

FHH attorney Harry Cole notes the final fees for radio are as proposed back in May.

TV fees, on the other hand, show slight (i.e., less than $400) increases across all markets.

Cole also has a word of warning when using the FCC’s Fee Filer. 

While Fee Filer will ordinarily list fees associated with the FRN used to access the system, the list of fees shown in Fee Filer may not be complete

As a general rule, it’s the payer’s responsibility to confirm the fullest extent of the payer’s regulatory fee obligation so, double- and triple-check what you owe before you make that payment.

TAB urges our member commercial radio and TV stations to pay these annual regulatory fees on time.

Failure to do so can result in a late payment penalty of 25 percent of the unpaid amount, starting immediately after the deadline; additional processing charges for collection of late fees; and administrative penalties, such as withholding of action on any applications from delinquent parties, eventual dismissal of such applications, and even possible revocation proceedings. 

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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